Trying to plan a sustainable music festival at UCLA is not all good vibes and zen.
On top of the stress of planning the annual festival Ecochella, organizers had to come up with a new name for the festival due to copyright issues with the Coachella-esque title.
On Saturday, the UCLA organization E3: Ecology, Economy, Equity will host Coastalong Festival, the new name for the music and lifestyle event previously known as Ecochella.
E3 will maintain the same program of musical performances and interactive booths of previous years, regardless of the name change.
Coastalong is a bike-powered festival with live performances, craft booths and food vendors. Launched in 2013, the organization’s mission is to educate the community on sustainability and alternative energy sources, said Maggie Elgin, a Coastalong sustainability committee member and first-year marine biology student.
Some of the booths coming this year include E3, UCLA Bike Shop, the Undergraduate Food Network and the ice cream shop Salt & Straw, Elgin said.
Katie Pastor, a fourth-year geography/environmental studies and communication studies student, helped coordinate logistics, which included scheduling band lineups, locations and facilities, and determining the festival’s new name.
Pastor said an attorney from Coachella’s parent music organization Goldenvoice contacted the organizers of Coastalong and had a conversation with them regarding the name; however, there were no immediate threats or lawsuits.
Goldenvoice has sued at least one group for mimicking their name in the past – the underground Los Angeles music festival Hoodchella, whose website no longer exists, and whose Twitter account has become private. They have changed their name to “Noise in the Hood.”
“I wouldn’t say it was necessarily a dramatic fight,” Pastor said. “We’re just happy that we gained enough repute and notoriety that a group as big as Coachella noticed us (and) thought it was notable enough to make an impact on them.”
Goldenvoice could not be reached for comment.
Ultimately, Pastor said the organizers behind Ecochella decided a name change was best for the group’s well-being and independence from other music festivals. The decision to change the name of the festival from Ecochella specifically to Coastalong was student-initiated, she said.
The process of picking a new name at the beginning of April was arduous, said Leila Bushweller, the club’s sustainability fair director. The group sat in a room and brainstormed for many hours, the third-year molecular, cell and developmental biology student said.
“At one point we were just throwing random words out there, hoping something would stick,” she said. “We were writing it all on the board and then tried to put together different words.”
They had the words “coast” and “along” on the board, and somebody yelled out the combination. Thus, the new title for the festival was born.
“Coastalong was super cool – very Californian – so we were all very excited about it,” Elgin said.
Many of the members of the group find the new name is representative of both environmental sustainability and relaxed vibes.
Elgin liked the name because it is a nod to the beaches near UCLA, such as the coast of Santa Monica and Huntington Beach. She said E3 also wants people to go and be able to coast with the vibes of the event.
“You can take ‘coast,’ and it could be like ‘coasting’ on a bike, which also relates to the bike power, and also ‘coast’ like the ocean, because part of sustainability is saving our oceans,” Bushweller said.
The name change is ultimately not altering the club’s mission to promote sustainability through the engaging medium of a music festival, Pastor said.
“We’re taking this in stride; we’re the same event with the same people behind it,” she said. “Everything’s the same. It’s just a name change – we’re just going with the flow.”