Music

Country Folks Gettin’ Down at Stagecoach

Each year, country folks from all around the world gather in the Coachella Valley during the end of April for one hell of a party. Stagecoach is three days full of beautiful people, amazing music, and more beer and whiskey than you’ll remember.

Stagecoach Music Festival is held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California. It’s the exact location where Coachella Fest is held, yet the two festivals couldn’t be any more different. Where Coachella is about raving, popping pills, and fondling strangers, Stagecoach is about celebrating American pride, shaking what your momma gave you, and drinking with strangers who become your inebriated family for the weekend.

While Stagecoach is California’s biggest country music festival, it’s not only for country lovers. If you enjoy having a good time, getting a little rowdy, and hanging out with some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet, Stagecoach is absolutely for you.

I happen to be a Stagecoach veteran. My sisters and I have been going since the very first weekend 10 years ago, so I might be a little biased, but I truly believe it’s very difficult to not have a good time. There might be the occasional drunken fool who accidentally stumbles into you and spills your drink, but most of the time they’ll be nice enough to buy you a new one. They might even stick around for a dance or two, and then suddenly you’ve made a new friend.

I’m glad to report, my 10 year anniversary WAS INCREDIBLE.

Needless to say, expectations were high and everyone was prepared for a wild adventure, but Goldenvoice, The Messina Group, and Moore Entertainment went above and beyond. With headliners like Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, and Eric Church, how could it the festival fail?

The venue offers three different stages, and while its fun line-dancing with a crowd of people at the Palomino or Mustang stage, Mane stage is definitely where it’s at. Losing yourself to the music in a sea of thousands of people is what Stagecoach is all about.

Performances occur throughout the day, but the big names don’t come out till later on in the evening. Friday night at Mane stage kicked off with Eric Paslay, who had everybody rockin’ to his song “High Class.” After Eric came Sam Hunt, who’s drop-dead gorgeous and knows how to throw a party. For his first time appearing at Stagecoach, he absolutely crushed it. He even brought out three surprise performers: G-Eazy, Bebe Rexha and Snoop Dogg for a special Bud Light Music “Stage Moment.” SNOOP AT STAGECOACH.

After Sam’s killer performance, Chris Young came out and had the whole crowd singing along at the top of their lungs. To finish the evening was Eric Church. He performed some of his hit songs like “Drink in My Hand,” and even autographed a boot that a fan threw on stage.

That was only day one.

Saturday night consisted of Chris Stapleton, Joe Nichols, The Band Perry, and Carrie Underwood on Mane stage. This was The Band Perry’s second appearance at Stagecoach and their song “Live Forever,” should have been the festival’s anthem the way it had everybody swaying and crooning along to the lyrics. Their mix of country, rock, and pop was just enough to get the crowd pumped up for Carrie Underwood. Carrie never disappoints; people young and old knew the words to every song. She began with new music and sold the show with “Wasted”, “Jesus Take the Wheel”, and “Before He Cheats”, which had the whole crowd going crazy.

By Sunday, the combination of sunshine and alcohol starts to exhaust, but a communal force of perseverance banishes fatigue for one of the greatest weekends of the year. Right around sunset, Dustin Lynch pointed to the sun slowing fading behind the palm trees and mountains while singing “Cowboys and Angels.” It was a special Stagecoach moment. After Lynch, Little Big Town sang “Day Drinking” to a crowd that had been drinking all day.

The moment we had all been waiting for was finally upon us: Luke Bryan! Luke has been at Stagecoach before and never ceases to amaze the crowd. A few of his highlights were “Kick the Dust Up,” “Home Alone Tonight” with Karen Fairchild, slowing it down with “Drink a Beer,” and making the whole crowd jam out to “Country Girl.” Boots were stomping, hands were clapping, hats were waving, hips were swaying; it was the epitome of what Stagecoach represents.

Unfortunately, the party had to end and everybody was forced to go back to reality. But it’s more than worth it for the biggest country party of the year. By the end of the third day, if you’re not dead tired with your entire body sore, you didn’t successfully rage at Stagecoach. But that’s okay; there’s always next year to look forward to.

To the nights we’ll never remember with the friends we’ll never forget. Thank you, Ragecoach. See you next year!

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