Stagecoach: California’s Country Music Festival

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.


Filed under Blog Post 4, Concert, Dancing, Live Music

6 Responses to Stagecoach: California’s Country Music Festival

  1. Joseph Schooling

    I really enjoyed reading about your Stagecoach adventure, Cassidy! I’ve never heard of this event but it looks like a ton of fun. It’s also good to see you and your friends had a great time. 55,000 people at an event is pretty unbelievable. Maybe people could compare this country music event to Tomorrowland? I’m not really sure how many people go to Tomorrowland but it’s pretty much an event where people from all over the world go to. I believe it’s held in Spain and Belgium but they play house and EDM etc. Artists such as Alesso, Calvin Harris, David Guetta etc. play there. If you’re into that kinda music, you should try to make it one year. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Paige Hinkle

    I had no idea there were such big music festivals for country music. Usually when I think of music festivals I think of pop, rock, or indie music, but it’s great to know that there are country music festivals as well. Its impressive that even the artists that weren’t headliners were very well known. I’m sure that this festival was probably better than some of the pop or indie music festivals because country music is so great live because of the instrumentation. I will definitely have to keep an eye out in the future for country music festivals near me!

  3. Lee Allen

    I had never heard of Stagecoach before, and had no clue that California had a country music festival! I’ve heard of Country Thunder in Arizona, but I think that’s the only country festival I’ve ever heard of. I can’t imagine going to a festival and seeing people actually go for strictly the music. With ACL and Coachella, people will listen to whatever DJ or Songwriter comes on before the headliners, but with Stagecoach, it seems that you have to know the genre and everyone would enjoy! Thanks for sharing your experience at this festival, I think I’ll add it to my bucket list now.

  4. I enjoyed the article Cassidy. I have never heard of Stagecoach, and it is good to hear that California also offers a large country music festival for those who don’t want to attend Coachella. A few of my friends are at Coachella right now, and it seems like something I would not enjoy, but I think I would enjoy Stagecoach. I am sure it’s a great venue to see live music, I would just assume it is weird seeing country artist play in southern California. The BBQ contest also sounds like a great attraction and compliments the country music well. I will have to look more into Stagecoach because who doesn’t love BBQ and country music.

  5. Olivia English

    I loved reading this post! I have a bunch of friends who all took a trip with their families last year to go to Stagecoach and they absolutely loved it. They actually had so much fun they’ve decided to make it a tradition and go every year! It’s cool to me that Goldenvoice has made one location such a huge destination for music, and for two genres of music that are so different from each other (the Coachella crowd is more than likely not going to be the same as the Stagecoach crowd). I definitely want to make it there some year, and I’m glad you’ll get to make it home this year to get back into it!

  6. Lottie Glazer

    Oh my god do I want to go to this festival so bad! Watching people at Coachella has not really seemed like my kind of festival but boy does this! I had never heard of it but now I really have to find a time to go. My best friend is from california but unfortunately is not a huge fan of country music but I will definitely have to try and convince her to go. One of my other best friends is from chicago and told me about Country Thunder in Wisconsin over the summer and I might go to that with her so that will be exciting. Will definitely have to look into Stagecoach too though!

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