Stagecoach is a two day outdoor country music event that is held annually in Indio, CA. This year was the 4th year of the event which was started in 2007. This event includes concerts by top country music performers, vendors, meet and greats, giveaways, activities and even some outdoor art.
Stagecoach’s three stages boasted 30 country music acts over the two days. The main stage called the “Mane” stage premiered the headline acts for Stagecoach which included Phil Vassar, Billy Currington, Sugarland and Keith Urban on Saturday night. And on Sunday, Heidi Newfield (used to be the front singer for Trick Pony), Jason Aldean, Brooks and Dunn, and Toby Keith rocked the Mane Stage. The two lesser stages provided some country greats such as Carlene Carter, The Oak Ridge Boys, and Merle Haggard.
I got to see the entire Saturday night line-up. Sugarland, Keith Urban, and Phil Vassar were great. They knew how to draw the crowd of 60,000 in and make sure they had a good time. Billy Currington just didn’t seem to work the crowd as well. Heidi Newfield was was good on Sunday as was Jason Aldean. We didn’t get to see Brooks and Dunn and Toby Keith as we had to leave early. The Brooks and Dunn performance is reported to be one of their last so I was sorry to miss it.
The only complaint I had about Stagecoach was the way the Mane Stage was set up. If you bought the general admission, then there was no way to see the performers on the stage. They had it blocked so that you couldn’t even see the person as a tiny dot on the stage. They did have plenty of flat screens and speakers so you could see and hear them well, but I could watch a TV special and see that at home. For me, it was like buying a ticket to a concert only to find that you have a seat in the parking lot with a flat screen and speakers to watch and listen to instead of a person on a stage.
There was plenty to do at Stagecoach besides listening to the concerts. There was plenty of vendors to shop from most of which was your typical fair type including unusual jewelry, shirts with funny sayings, and hats and boots. Boot Barn even had a small store inside Stagecoach. And since it was hot, there were plenty of vendors selling things for keeping cool like misters and umbrellas. You could even buy camping chairs from some vendors since there were no seats, just a field, for general admission. You could even buy lottery tickets at the lottery ticket booth.
There were plenty of food vendors as well each featuring the normal fair food including pizza, hamburgers, fries, funnel cakes, barbecue, corn dogs, cotton candy, and snow cones. There was also a barbecue competition at Stagecoach and you could purchase a sample of the competitors wares as well. However, if you are planning to attend next year and sample the wares of the food vendors bring plenty of cash. Most of the vendors, food and merchandise alike, only accepted cash. And the food was grossly over priced. A snow cone was $5, a 20 oz soda was $4, and burger and fries cost me $12. They did have ATMs on the grounds for those in need of cash.
There were also plenty of other activities most of which were free. The SOAP network has a tent where you could meet and greet with some of your favorites Soap stars, win prizes, or get a free massage. If you are into trucks, then you definitely wanted to stop by the Toyota tent and test drive their trucks on their off road course. You could also win prizes or get picture with Brooks and Dunn at the Toyota tent. For the kiddies you could go to the Half-pint hootenanny which included crafts for the kids, a petting zoo, and spinning and weaving demonstrations. You could also take them to the Playstation tent where they could try out the latest Playstation games for free.
And of course there was alcohol to be had at Stagecoach. There was a full service bar as well as vendor tents serving beer and every other type of alcohol under the sun. There was also a lounge with a DJ and a bar that you could visit if you didn’t like the current stage music. It was like being at a really big block party with 60,000 people. Tickets for general admission to this event was $99 which included entry for both days. Children 10 and under got free general admission to the event.
Here are a few suggestions for maximizing you fun if you plan on going to Stagecoach next year.
1. It was hot! Dress for the weather, wear a hat, and bring sunglasses and sunscreen.
2. Bring plenty of cash. They won’t let you bring food or liquids into Stagecoach and yes they search your bags.
3. Come early to park (parking was free) because there was a lot of traffic.
4. Bring a chair or blanket because there is no seating for general admission.
5. Wear good shoes, Stagecoach covers a large area and you will want to do a lot of walking.