The Stagecoach Country Music Festival got underway on Friday at the Empire Polo Club in Indio. Here are seven random thoughts on Day One of the three-day festival.
No beer gardens
The first shock I feel every year when walking into the Empire Polo Club is seeing people walking anywhere they want with a beer. After spending last weekend entering and exiting beer gardens with security looking me up and down to make sure I wasn’t sneaking an IPA out, this always leads to a small adjustment period.
Also, beer, booze, and whatever it is that Trisha Yearwood is slingin’ is for sale everywhere you look.
The new layout gives some room to breathe (in places)
As Goldenvoice moved a bunch of things around for Coachella, it left the Stagecoach fest’s layout a little different too. The festival now has really only two stages (Mane and Palimino) and, as is always the case, about 90% of the crowd plants a flag somewhere in front of the packed af Mane stage and never moves all day except maybe to pee and buy beer. This leaves large swaths of the festival grounds wide open (especially near the entrance and under the Sahara tent – which now houses the kids area), so if you want to get away from the crowds for a bit, you can do that.
Guy Fieri was there
Yup. There he was. I didn’t personally see him, but I did visit his new BBQ area of the fest – which was much better run than in previous years when it was about 10 tents near the craft beer area that were always out of product by 3 pm.
People seemed to dig the new area and options as the place was packed.
Free nuts can be found in one of the fest’s bars! Good news from those who are hungry, bad news for those allergic.
Kelsea Ballerini was good and all I could think about was toothpaste
I guess advertising works.
Shake Shack was back
It was a huge hit for Coachella and it’s back for Stagecoach. it was our dinner. It was good.
Now, c’mon Shake Shack. Open up a permanent spot in the Coachella Valley already.
People be drunk, man
You see that up there? That’s a woman who struggled mightily to get to the top of one of the lions near the peaks tents of the festival grounds. She’s about 10 feet above ground and, after watching the spectacle and taking the pic, the wife and I left before seeing how the hell she was planning to get down because the wrong way would really make this part of the fest a bummer.
We bailed on the festival before Florida Georgia Line hit the stage – as Friday was a long workday for us and the level of dust in my lungs had reached capacity (plus Garth kind of asked to).
On the ride home on the shuttle, a clearly very intoxicated woman yelled at the driver the whole way about how she was not going the right way to Palm Desert. This might surprise you, but the driver was going the right way. By the time she would’ve realized the driver was right, the inebriated woman had moved on to another topic and was letting everyone know that her eye hurt and she was thirsty. This all happened at 9:30 pm.
Pace yourself during Stagecoach. Pace yourself.