Find Your Festival: Stagecoach

Stagecoach 2016

If you're into cowboy boots, plaid shirts, and the GOP, you will be thrilled to know there is a three-day country music festival coming up — although if you're a diehard country fan or Trump supporter, you probably already knew this. Stagecoach — which takes place at The Empire Polo Club in Indio less than a week after Coachella takes over the same area — is one of the largest country music festivals in the world. Instead of bros in traditional Native American headdresses or kids in board shorts and shutter shades lost on acid, you'll find bros unironically wearing “Make America Great Again” hats and kids as drunk as Will Ferrell in Old School.

Stagecoach began nearly a decade ago, and has played host to some of the biggest musicians in country music, including Taylor Swift (way back in 2008) and Rascal Flats. Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, and Mirana Lambert headlined last year, while this year, Carrie Underwood, Eric Church, and Luke Bryan take the main stage. There will also be performances by Lee Ann Womack, Little Big Town, 1970s throwbacks The Doobie Brothers and Creedence Clearwater's John Fogerty, and many others — all of whom fall under the big tent of country/bluegrass/folk.

If you need a rest from line dancing, you can take a break at the Ferris wheel, the petting zoo, or grab a bite to eat at the many BBQ and county fair-esque food vendors. Don't expect to have the cleanest weekend: The stages are spread far apart, and after an hour of running back and forth in boots in the desert sun between bands and the petting zoo, you will inevitably end up smelling like an armpit.

When you can't stand your stench any longer, you can always head back to the nearby campgrounds or RV resort to freshen up. Country music means family values, so the festival is an all-ages event (and you don't have to pay for kiddies under the age of 10).

But be forewarned: Crimes and arrests are a big thing at alcohol-fueled Stagecoach. In 2015, 157 people were arrested for a variety of booze-related incidents, as well as simple battery, sexual battery, felony vandalism. Assaults, especially on solo women, have also occurred. Of course, there are risks associated with attending any major music festival, so just be smart about where you put your things (or wallet), how much you drink, and which Trump supporters you surround yourself with.

WHERE: Indio, CA

WHEN: April 29,30 & May 1, 2016

TICKETS: $299.00

CAMPING: yes

WEBSITE: Stagecoach.com


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