Mike Love joins LOCASH for ‘Beach Boys,’ photos of the party in the campground
Saddle-up: Festival season is now in full swing and country music fans are about to join the fun after a nearly three-year wait. Stagecoach country music festival kicks off Friday, April 29 at the iconic Empire Polo Club fields after two successful weeks of Coachella.
Check back here for the sights, sounds, food and magic moments that make Stagecoach one of the biggest country music festivals in the world.
Photos: Stagecoach knows how to party
Dang, ya’ll look like you are having a great time in the camping area. Desert Sun reporter Jonathan Horwitz spent some time early Sunday taking in the sights and sounds of the RV camping lot, saying “howdy” and even joining in the fun. Check out the photos and see if you are featured.
Mike Love joins LOCASH for ‘Beach Boys’
The country, rock and pop worlds continue to merge at Stagecoach, where LOCASH was joined on the Mane Stage on Sunday afternoon by Mike Love of the Beach Boys. The two first performed the LOCASH song “Beach Boys” before launching into two Beach Boys classics, “Kokomo” and then “Fun, Fun, Fun.” The fun cameo provided for a very SoCal afternoon. The night before, Axl Rose joined Carrie Underwood’s headlining set for two Guns N’ Roses classics, “Paradise City” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine.”
Once, twice, three times a Yola as British star completes trifecta
Rising British star Yola (Yolanda Claire Quartey) joined the small but growing list of performers who played Coachella and Stagecoach in the same year. Yola showcased her impressive vocals, sort of a combo of Tina Turner and Jennifer Hudson, on the Outdoor Theatre during both Sundays at Coachella.
Then on Sunday at Stagecoach, the 38-year-old from Bristol, England, played the Palomino Stage. It was a solid set that included he biggest hit “Starlight” and a beautiful cover of Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.”
She’s not the only act to perform all three weekends in the desert. Orville Peck also pulled off the feat, playing two Coachella shows and the Palomino at Stagecoach on Saturday night.
Stagecoach: Not your average festival merch
Festivalgoers at Stagecoach get the chance every year to pick up a souvenir of the festival … and we’re not talking just branded Stagecoach merch. Nikki Lane’s Stage Stop Marketplace is an amazing collection of vendors who sell everything from boots to hats to jewelry and lots of western stuff in between. It’s mostly small outfits, a maker with a dream who likes to hit the road and see where it takes them. Desert Sun reporter Jonathan Horwitz caught up with several of the vendors who each had a unique story to tell. If you’re out at the festival on Sunday, be sure to stop by and say howdy.
Axl Rose appears onstage as Carrie Underwood’s special guest
In a wild twist that likely nobody saw coming, Axl Rose — the lead singer of iconic rock band Guns N’ Roses — appeared onstage during headliner Carrie Underwood’s set Saturday night. “Welcome to the best moment of my life, Axl Rose, everyone!” Underwood yelled to welcome the legend to the stage. The pair sang “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “Paradise City” for the unsuspecting crowd.
Blake Horstmann from “The Bachelorette” packs the Honkytonk
Stagecoach has a storied and somewhat comical history of attracting reality TV personalities from “The Bachelor” franchise, and in a full-circle moment Saturday, Blake Horstmann from Becca Kufrin’s season of “The Bachelorette” — who is somehow a DJ now — packed the Honkytonk for a Saturday evening set full of girls screaming for the Denver-based heartthrob. His unofficial-but-pretty-much-official girfriend, Giannina Gibelli of Netflix’s “Love Is Blind,” was also onstage for the first 10 minutes of his set, dancing off to the side in a chic red jumpsuit. Yours truly may or may not have had a total blast singing along to his remixes of Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” and several Taylor Swift hits.
Naomi Judd dies at 76; Stagecoach artists post tributes
Grammy-winning country vocalist Naomi Judd, one half of mother-daughter duo The Judds, died Saturday. She was 76.
Judds’ daughters Wynonna and Ashley announced her death on Saturday, USA Today reports.
“Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness,” both sisters tweeted. “We are shattered. We are navigating profound grief and know that as we loved her, she was loved by her public. We are in unknown territory.” The statement did not elaborate further.
Artists who are playing Stagecoach this weekend in Indio also expressed their condolences.
Carrie Underwood, who is set to headline the Mane Stage Saturday night, tweeted “Country music lost a true legend…sing with the angels, Naomi!!! We’re all sending up prayers for the Judd family today…”
Maren Morris, who played the Mane Stage Friday night, tweeted, “Rest In Peace, Naomi Judd. Honored to have witnessed “Love Can Build a Bridge” just a few short weeks ago.
Musician Breland makes Eagles NFL Draft pick from Stagecoach grounds
Country artist Breland, who dazzled the Stagecoach crowd with a late-night set Friday that included special guest Taylor Lautner, popped up in the middle of the NFL Draft on Saturday from the Empire Polo Club grounds.
Breland, a life-long Philadelphia Eagles fan, introduced the team’s fifth-round pick Saturday during ESPN’s coverage of the 2022 NFL Draft in what appeared to be a pre-taped introduction filmed Friday afternoon.
“What’s up yall this is Breland coming to you from Stagecoach, California’s country music festival,'” he said while wearing an Eagles jersey. “As a life-long Eagles fan that hasn’t missed a game since 2003. I’m pumped to welcome our next pick into the Philly family. Let’s see who it is back in Vegas.”
Then the broadcast cut back to the live draft where Kansas linebacker Kyron Johnson was announced as the team’s pick, No. 181 overall.
Celebrities at Stagecoach: ‘The Bachelor’ franchise represents
If you’re a fan of “The Bachelor” franchise, well, let’s just say Stagecoach might be celebrity heaven for you. Desert Sun Features Editor Niki Kottmann has charted out all of the sightings and how each of these people connect in a very complicated web of interactions. Stay with us, we’ll be providing updates of the celebrity scene throughout the weekend.
Tanya Tucker FaceTimes Brandi Carlile: Wish you were here
Country Queen Tanya Tucker took some time during her Palomino tent set on Friday to check up on another queen, Brandi Carlile, who just days earlier had to cancel her planned Stagecoach set due to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. During the call, Tucker called Carlile — who is her friend and frequent collaborator — her “hero.” Desert Sun reporter Ema Sasic has the video and a full review of the set.
Review: Country legend Tanya Tucker pumps up the crowd, FaceTimes Brandi Carlile during set
Trend alert: Tom Petty covers popular with Stagecoach acts
The Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers classic “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” is proving a popular song for Stagecoach acts to cover. On Friday, Jordan Davis included the jam in his set on the Mane Stage. It went over well. Midland was up next on the same stage, and closed out their set to the same song. Again, roars from the crowd. Noted.
Jon Pardi joins Midland during golden-hour set
Midland’s golden hour set on Friday drew a huge crowd to the Mane Stage, which erupted in cheers when Jon Pardi joined the group mid-set for “Longneck Way to Go,” which dropped on April 22 and is included on their upcoming album “The Last Resort: Greetings From,” which will be released May 6.
Festivalgoer proposes to girlfriend during Jordan Davis’ set
One festivalgoer will be heading home from Stagecoach will some serious hardware: a diamond ring. During a break between songs, a male attendee decided to get down on one knee, taking his partner by surprise. Even though it couldn’t be heard clearly, her body language makes it clear she said yes, smiling big and pulling him in for a kiss while festivalgoers around them cheered. Congrats to the happy couple!
No VIP area this year
Stagecoach attendees could pay extra to stand closer to the stage at this year’s festival, but unlike big sister Coachella, there was no designated VIP area. This made for a much more inclusive vibe Friday, with another bar, mini general store and plenty of shaded seating open to everyone in the traditional Coachella VIP area at the foot of the Mane Stage viewing section.
Maren Morris joins husband Ryan Hurd onstage
Not many couples get to say they’re coworkers, and even fewer get to share a music festival stage together, but Stagecoach performer Ryan Hurd can say both after his Friday performance. Hurd shared a special moment with his country star wife, Maren Morris, when she joined him on the Mane Stage for the last two songs of his set. The song that unsurprisingly got the most applause was Grammy-nominated “Chasing After You,” which the lovebirds co-wrote and recorded as a duet.
Stagecoach Day 1 is underway, and we noticed a few changes but most of the same
The Desert Sun team noticed many changes to the Stagecoach layout during its initial walk of the grounds Friday, but all the staples are still in place: Guy Fieri’s Stagecoach Smokehouse, all the bright neon signs and of course the iconic boots and bronco sculptures.
One of the changes was the placement of Nikki Lane’s Stage Stop Marketplace, which has found a new home in the shade under what’s known as the Sahara tent at Coachella. What the area is lacking in ambiance is made up for in the immense amount of shade the massive tent provides, not to mention the abundance of fun vintage shops. New to the marketplace this year is the Compton Cowboys area, where the iconic Southern California riding group will show its horses and educate attendees on the legacy of African Americans in equine and Western heritage.
Other things we noticed: Sonny’s bar (which was present at Coachella but hard to find, whereas it’s now prominently located); the iconic Rose Garden (which is usually reserved for VIP guests, but is open to everyone at Stagecoach); and the mayor of Flavortown himself was already present in the BBQ area, ready to fire up the grill for the following schedule of demos:
A schedule of the live demos:
More: Stagecoach 2022: A first look at the food, shopping, hidden bars and viewing areas at festival grounds
More: Nine things we wish we could’ve bought at Stagecoach including boots, buckles and the Coors wolf
Diplo ready to reprise ‘magical’ Stagecoach moment on Sunday
Noted DJ and producer Diplo (real name Thomas Wesley Pentz) is bringing back his late-night Palomino tent party this year when he performs Sunday after Luke Combs’ headlining performance. Thursday on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” Diplo gushed about the Stagecoach festival and recalled his debut there in 2019, mixing house music and country and dance beats.
“The last time I did Stagecoach I spent the afternoon with Guy Fieri and I drank an entire bottle of Mezcal and at night I was at the stage and I looked at the turntables and I forgot how they worked,” he told Fallon with a laugh. “But something happened, it was magic and I got the set together and we brought Little Nas X out with Billy Ray Cyrus, the first time they performed, and it was a really amazing moment because country was having this crossover aspect where everything was happening with hip-hop and country and something just magical happened at that Stagecoach festival and I hope to repeat it on Sunday.”
Diplo, who had long blond hair in 2019 and now has a tight light blue ‘do, did not divulge any secret guests that may perform with him this year. However, after his interview with Fallon, he played a song from his new self-titled album along with Miguel.
Where will you be sitting at the Mane Stage?
Gates open today at noon for Day 1 of Stagecoach 2022, and Goldenvoice has posted several maps to help you plan out your weekend … getting there, getting into the festival grounds and where you hope to set up camp at the Mane Stage.
Livestream set times are in
Won’t be attending Stagecoach but still want to experience the music? The good news is you can livestream the festival over YouTube, so you can enjoy scootin’ boots to Thomas Rhett in your living room or enjoy Tanya Tucker during your patio barbecue.
Here is the livestream schedule.
Stagecoach will no longer allow Confederate flags
Goldenvoice quietly added a new rule to its General Resort Rules page on the Stagecoach website this year, specifically stating “No divisive symbols, including, without limitation, Confederate flags and racially disparaging or other inappropriate imagery/public displays.”
Festival organizers have yet to respond to Desert Sun requests for more information about the new rule and how it will be enforced, but there’s a decent chance that those headed to the campgrounds will be told to take down their flags or other potentially offensive decorations.
NASCAR banned Confederate flags from all racetracks in June 2020 in an effort to be more inclusive, and Stagecoach 2022 performer Maren Morris said in an early 2021 conversation with festival headliner Luke Combs and moderator Ann Powers from NPR that she doesn’t “want to play those festivals” where Confederate flags are allowed to fly.
Self-professed avid country fan and frequent Stagecoach attendee Gigi Mitchell started a change.org petition to get Goldenvoice to ban Confederate flags shortly after NASCAR announced its own ban in 2020, but only 57 people signed it and Goldenvoice never publicly responded.
New set times drop after Brandi Carlile forced to drop out
Brandi Carlile will no longer perform at Stagecoach Friday.
The singer posted a video on her Instagram Wednesday that started with “Hey buddies … it finally happened. I have the Covid. So I won’t be able to come to Stagecoach,” with a sad look on her face.
Carlile is a six-time Grammy Award-winning artist whose work spans many genres, but is most often associated with Americana, country and folk music.
Her departure from the festival caused Stagecoach to update its lineup Wednesday evening, making several adjustments to the start times on the Palomino Stage Carlile was set to perform on as well as the SiriusXM Spotlight stage.
Here’s the updated lineup (Mane Stage set times/lineup are the same) for Friday:
1:30 p.m. Amythyst Kiah
2:40 p.m. The Cactus Blossoms
3:55 p.m. Charley Crockett
5:10 p.m. Neal McCoy
6:25 p.m. The Marcus King Band
7:40 p.m. Tanya Tucker
Late Night in the Palomino
11:20 p.m. Breland
SiriusXM’s Spotlight Stage
1:30 p.m. Spencer Crandall
2:20 p.m. Walker County
3:20 p.m. Ryan Griffin
More: What to see at Stagecoach festival 2022: Compton Cowboys, DJ from ‘The Bachelor,’ and more
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This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: Stagecoach 2022: Axl Rose joins Carrie Underwood onstage for two songs