The Evolution of the Stagecoach Festival Lineup


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Take Me To the Mane Stage

Music festival season is almost here! Now before you chalk me up to being crazy, we are already getting festival lineups for 2023, and I couldn’t be more excited.

I know a lot of people wait anxiously to find out the Coachella lineup (you’re gonna have to wait a little longer for that one), but the team at Goldenvoice already gave us a huge 2023 music festival announcement 2 weeks ago when the lineup for Stagecoach 2023 was announced. In this blog, Hollywood Branded discusses the evolution of the Stagecoach Festival Lineup.

The Evolution of the Stagecoach Festival Lineup

What is the Stagecoach Music Festival?

For those not in the know, Stagecoach is a massive country music festival that takes place 2 weeks after weekend one of Coachella at the same location. There are very few country artists I can think of who haven’t graced the Stagecoach stage (still holding out hope for The Chicks and Dolly Parton one day). Superstars like Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney, Garth Brooks, and Shania Twain have all performed at some point at Stagecoach. If you are a repeat attendee like myself, you can very often watch a country star’s career grow as they move up the Stagecoach lineup. Florida Georgia Line went from playing under the scorching heat of the Indio sun in 2013 to headlining the "Mane" stage by 2018. The Stagecoach festival has become one of, if not the trendsetter, when it comes to country music lineups. This is the festival that I rarely miss on a yearly basis, and here’s why.

Lineup Evolution

At its base, Stagecoach absolutely is a country music festival, but something I have noticed over the last few years is the inclusion of a wider assortment of genres and artists that you wouldn’t necessarily think of as “country,” but when you are there on site, their sets make total sense. Over the past 5 or so years, artists like Smokey Robinson, Bret Michaels, ZZ Top, and John Fogerty have all performed at Stagecoach. Bryan Adams was supposed to play in 2020 before Covid canceled that year’s festival. You see those names on the lineup, and you are excited but also have that little bit of wonderment as to how the crowds will respond, but every single time, the crowds are totally into it, singing along and having a blast!

A new and repeating addition to the Stagecoach lineup has been Diplo. Yup, the DJ/Producer has now performed twice at Stagecoach and will be back again this year. What makes Stagecoach’s booking team so smart is that they know that the same young people that want to drink some beers and sing along to Luke Combs also enjoy going out to the club, so why not bring the club to Stagecoach? Diplo closes out the entire weekend with a mix of dance tracks and remixed country tracks and has been known to bring out special guests throughout his set as well. His first year at Stagecoach in 2019, he had Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus come out during his set, and the roof of the tent almost blew off when they performed “Old Town Road.” The most successful festivals understand that sometimes you need to adapt to survive.

DJ Diplo, left, with Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus perform "Old Town Road" at the conclusion of the 2019 Stagecoach country music festival in Indio.

Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison | Getty Images

2023 Lineup Breakdown

So let’s get to this year’s lineup, and it’s stacked again! I don’t think there is much that I need to say about the headliners. Luke Bryan, Kane Brown, and Chris Stapleton. Three country music behemoths and all with just a slightly different style than the rest. But let’s dive in a little deeper. First, there's the list of the current superstars from Nashville scattered all over this lineup. Jon Pardi, Old Dominion, Gabby Barrett, and Riley Green, to name a few. You cant listen to a country music station for 30 minutes without hearing at least one of those artists. Then, we look at those legendary names which are led by Brooks and Dunn. Hall of Famers and country music legends. I do dread having to choose between them and Chris Stapleton, but I'll figure out a way to see both. Remember when I was talking about crossover artists? Well, not only does Bryan Adams finally get his chance to play Stagecoach but add Melissa Etheridge, Elle King, and Nelly to that list. When you take a second to really think about it, they all make complete sense here.  Now, to what might be my favorite part, the up-and-comers.

If you listen to Spotify or The Highway on SiriusXM (who are a sponsor of Stagecoach), you probably already know many of these names, but if any of these are new to you, I can’t recommend enough going to check them out because many will be climbing that lineup over the next few years. Artists like Niko Moon, Priscilla Block, Lainey Wilson, Bailey Zimmerman, and Breland are all poised for huge careers in country music, and I can tell you that there is a special feeling when you get to see an artist when they are starting out and playing early on a festival lineup and then a few years later watching them play as the sun is setting or even headlining.

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Just Get To A Music Festival, Any Music Festival

While country music is the genre I tend to lean most into, the same passion and excitement that I use when talking about Stagecoach can be applied to whatever genre you love as well. Going to Coachella or Lollapalooza or Bonnaroo? Go early one day and check out a rising star who is playing at 3 pm. Go check out the brand that has set up fun activations and go taste some food from a local food truck on site. Get excited, everyone, because even though fall is upon us and winter will be here sooner than we all would like, music festival season will be back before you know it, and music festival season may actually be the most wonderful time of the year, at least in my book.

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