April in our lusciously lush Palm Springs Valley means many things, two of the most exciting of which are “Coachella” (as in the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival) and “Stagecoach” (as in Stagecoach: California’s Country Music Festival). Both are brought to you by L.A.-based promoter/producer Goldenvoice, and take place in Indio at the Empire Polo Club grounds. Coachella happens on the consecutive twin weekends of April 10-12 and 17-19, while its country cousin holds court April 24-26.
Ask anybody who’s done the feverish mad dash to try to get Coachella passes and they’ll tell you those puppies are hard to come by, selling out so fast as to make your headsets spin. Not so for Stagecoach, but that should in no way be seen as a mark of inferior quality in the music or the entire experience. The bottom line is that a stellar lineup awaits at Stagecoach, and even though the ever-popular Corral Standing Pit passes are sold out, General Admission passes ($269) and passes for Corral Reserved Seating ($799, granting the bearer a reserved seat in front of the Mane Stage, just behind the pit) are still available at www.stagecoachfestival.com. FYI, your wristband will give you access to all three days of the festival, and country kiddies under the age of ten get in free, as always. Also of note, Corral level passes also admit the holder to the Saloon, an area adjacent to the Mane Stage that features abundant shade, picnic tables, couches, extra restrooms, food, and a full cash bar).
To give you a preview: More than 60 of the most respected acts—both new and old—currently working the country music circuit throughout North America will perform during the three-day affair. The headliners are Tim McGraw (Friday), Miranda Lambert (Saturday), and Blake Shelton (Sunday). Just some of the other bands and soloists on hand to hoedown include Jake Owen, Kip Moore, Justin Moore, Merle Haggard, Dierks Bentley, ZZ Top, The Band Perry, Sara Evans, The Oak Ridge Boys, Greg Allman, and Vince Gill.
Don’t make me use my lasso to rope you in. Get your passes now, dust off those silver-spurred cowboy boots, and come on down to Stagecoach!