Staging Another Coachella

As Pollstar went to press, Goldenvoice was readying itself for its first-ever country music festival – Stagecoach, which was expected to take place May 5-6 on the same grounds as the Coachella Music & Arts Festival in Indio, Calif.

Instead of Rage Against The Machine on the main stage, it would be Kenny Chesney. Instead of Ozomatli in one of the tents, it would be Ricky Skaggs. There would be a heap more RVs than camping tents and instead of hackey-sack there’d be, well, anything but, thank God.

But even though the tents and stages didn’t move, the Coachella site got a quick and clever makeover – one that obviously amused organizer Paul Tollett when interviewed. The Main Stage became the "Mane Stage," and the kids area was redubbed "Half-Pint Hootenanny." Meanwhile, those awesome Tesla balls that entertain the hipsters at Coachella weren’t carted away. They were just renamed the "White Lightning Tesla Coils."

"Each stage was reconfigured a bit," Tollett told Pollstar from the site May 3rd. "The lighting is different so it’s not as rock looking. Bluegrass has a different feel, so it’s not going to go with the crazy trusses and everything."

There were no vendors at Coachella this year, but Stagecoach was expected to have plenty of folks selling boots, spurs, and cowboy hats. The drink of choice at Coachella was Heineken, but the good ol’ boys got a variety – heck, maybe even Pabst Blue Ribbon.

As for the Sahara Tent (Mustang Stage) – the usual go-to tent for raving and glow sticks – it was expected to house a rib cook-off, picnic tables and Western art, all under the watchful eye of performers Roger Alan Wade and Riders In The Sky.

One of the reasons why Goldenvoice created Stagecoach was to give landowner Alexander Haagen more revenue and keep him from converting the grounds to condominiums, according to the New York Times.

Which brings up the question, will Goldenvoice ever consider a third festival on the Empire Grounds – namely something conspicuously absent from SoCal, an annual Christian music festival?

"We’re just trying to deal with a country festival for now," Tollett said.