In just 18 days thousands of country music fans will head to sunny Southern California for the 10th Annual Stagecoach Country Music Festival. The festival is located at the Empire Polo Club in the dry desert of Indio, CA. This venue name may ring a bell. Coachella takes place at the same place by the same company, Goldenvoice.
Stagecoach offers a variety of music such as mainstream country, bluegrass, some rock, and also alternative country. With three stages of artists to choose from all day long, you’ll never be dissatisfied with a performance.
In 2012 Stagecoach had a record sell-out crowd at 55,000 attendees. After hearing about how great it was, my friends and I decided to finally go. The first time I attended stagecoach was my senior year of high school in April of 2013. A few friends and I skipped our senior prom to be able to attend the whole weekend and it didn’t disappoint.
The three headliners were Friday- Toby Keith, Saturday- Lady Antebellum, and Sunday- Zac Brown Band. But those weren’t the only big names to look forward to. Other artists such as Hank Williams Jr, Dierks Bentley, Tanya Tucker, and Florida Georgia Line were fan favorites as well.
The 102 degree heat was a bit discouraging but we pushed through and had a great time. The festival usually provides cooling tents and misting fans to help with that as well.
As soon as the 2014 Stagecoach tickets were released, we planned our weekend because we knew we couldn’t miss it. This time my mom and sister came along so we got “VIP” wristbands. Having this special wristband meant you got to escape the rowdy crowds and go into a separate pit up front with a private beer garden. It was awesome to see the performers up close however, as a college student a part of me wished I was back with my crazy friends so I didn’t not stay there the entire time.
Stagecoach offers on site camping. I HIGHLY recommend this option if you are looking to attend the festival. My brother and some of his friends brought an RV out for the weekend and we ended up hanging out there more than our house because it was so close to the venue. I would even argue there is just as much entertainment in the campground as there is in the festival itself. People hangout between the rows of trailers playing flip cup, beer pong, or even riding horse bicycles.
The music isn’t the only thing to look forward to inside the festival. Line dancing lessons are offered at “The Honkytonk Dance Hall.” Vendors such as Maui Jim, Toyota, and Barefoot Wine set up booths to show you their products. You can also find small carnival games and an energy playground! You may think Californians don’t barbecue like Texans, which might be partially true, but each year Stagecoach hosts an annual BBQ Cook-off at the festival where attendees can buy items for $5. The winner of this competition goes to the World Championship in Kansas City, so it’s a big deal!
Stagecoach has been such an exciting weekend for me the past four years, Unfortunately, moving to Texas last year broke my attending streak but this year I made sure I could fly home for it! The lineup is one I can’t miss!
If you have the chance and love country music, I highly recommend attending Stagecoach in the future! Stagecoach is the highest grossing festival centered on country music in the world, so clearly I am not the only one that enjoys it. Don’t believe me? Just watch this video.