Entrance to the 2011 festival.
|Genre||Country, country rock, Southern rock, bluegrass, heartland rock, alternative country|
|Location(s)||Empire Polo Club
81-800 Avenue 51
Indio, California 92201
The Stagecoach Festival is an outdoor country music festival presented by Goldenvoice, The Messina Group, and Moore Entertainment and founded by Paul Tollett. The festival is held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California. Various artists attend, whether they be mainstream or relatively unknown, ranging from folk, mainstream country, bluegrass, roots rock, and alternative country. It is the highest-grossing festival centered on country music in the world. The festival acts as a sister event to Goldenvoice's Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, taking place the following weekend at the same site.
Stagecoach took place for the first time in 2007. Put on at the same venue, also by Goldenvoice, Stagecoach is seen as a "cousin" of Coachella. In 2012, the festival's 55,000 attendees marked its first sell-out crowd.
Notable performers have included Brad Paisley, Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Brooks and Dunn, Toby Keith, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Sugarland, The Charlie Daniels Band, Alabama.George Strait, Alan Jackson, Willie Nelson, Eagles, Roger McGuinn, Rascal Flatts, Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Martina McBride, Don Williams, Jerry Lee Lewis, Shania Twain and Luke Bryan.
The facilities provide on-site camping for some festival-goers. The Desert Sun published an article on the camping, reporting that some attendees think that it, as a standalone event, is almost on par with the concerts. The 2013 festival's tent/car camping policy was eliminated and the RV camping rules altered due to the overwhelming 55,000 person sellout crowd at the 2012 festival. The new rules stand until Goldenvoice decides on a different approach.
The festival showcases a variety of food and beverages to enjoy over the course of the weekend. Some of the restaurants expected for the 2013 festival are Jackelope Ranch, Las Casuelas, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, Fisherman's Market & Grill, and vendors like Spicy Pie, Pink's Hot Dogs, and Waffleman Ice Cream Sandwiches. There are also full bars, a Cantina Restaurant, BBQ contest, and a pancake breakfast supporting the local Lion's Club.
Kansas City BBQ Society (KCBS) sanctioned the Stagecoach Invitational BBQ Championship encompassing teams from across the nation competing for the KCBS California State championship.
Apart from food, the festival offers alcoholic beverages as well, much like its sister festival, Coachella. However, the festival does not boast beer gardens and reserved drinking areas like its counterpart, which could be the reason why there are a considerable number of alcohol arrests. There was a reported 157 arrests made during the weekend-long festival in 2015.