April always means good music in the desert. And with the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival happening on the consecutive identical weekends of April 14-16 and 21-23 … plus Stagecoach California’s Country Music Festival landing from the 28th to the 30th, there is literally something for everyone’s eyes and ears.
The big news at Coachella, of course, is that Lady Gaga has been named as the Saturday replacement for a very pregnant Beyoncé, who was forced to abandon her desert plans upon her doctor’s orders. Has Gaga performed in the desert since causing a stir at the White Party in 2009? I think not! In any case, she joins the previously announced headliners Radiohead (Friday) and Kendrick Lamar (Sunday), in addition to dozens of other acts such as Travis Scott, Father John Misty, Bon Iver, Martin Garrix, New Order, and Lorde.
But don’t forget that phenomenal visual artists put the “Arts” in Coachella. Peppering the Empire Polo Club grounds in Indio will be large-scale installations by Chiaozza, Do Lab, Gustavo Prado, Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan, Obscura, Olalekan Jeyifous, and Robert Bose.
Over at Stagecoach, the Mane Stage will be populated with top-notch headliners Dierks Bentley (Friday), Shania Twain (Saturday), and Kenny Chesney (Sunday). They join some 70 other traditional and more newfangled country acts, including Jerry Lee Lewis, Willie Nelson and Family, Travis Tritt, Cyndi Lauper, and Kiefer Sutherland. Yep, you heard right: Kiefer Sutherland. I guess the fictional POTUS of TV’s “Designated Survivor” moonlights. Who knew?
Yes, the passes are sold out for all three weekends. But don’t fret. Those who are lucky enough to have a desert address can still score. For each of the three weekends, 1000 passes reserved for “locals only” will go on sale two days prior to the Friday kickoff. Available only in person at the Indian Wells Tennis Gardens box office from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (or until supplies last), the sale dates are as follows: Coachella Weekend 1, Wednesday, April 12…Coachella Weekend 2, Wednesday, April 19…and Stagecoach, Wednesday, April 26. Check out www.coachella.com and www.stagecoachfestival.com for all the latest info—and of course, bring proof of your desert residency!