Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Carrie Underwood – Stagecoach Bound
Carrie Underwood, who will headline Stagecoach along with Eric Church and Thomas Rhett in April 2020, performs onstage at Los Angeles’ Staples Center on September 12.
Stagecoach Festival shared the lineup for its 2020 edition on Tuesday. The event, billed as “California’s Country Music Festival,” will return to Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif., April 24-26, with a lineup topped by Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood and Eric Church.
Other lineup highlights at the Goldenvoice-produced festival include Brett Young, Dustin Lynch, Dan + Shay, Alan Jackson, Jon Pardi, ZZ Top, Billy Ray Cyrus, Lil Nas X, Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives, Tenille Townes, Bryan Adams and current Pollstar cover stars Midland.
The headlining trifecta is similar to 2016’s, when Church, Underwood and Luke Bryan topped the bill. Church also headlined Stagecoach in 2014.
Both Church and Underwood are among country’s most consistently bankable stars. Church has made a killing this year with his “Double Down Tour,” consisting of two-night stands at various arenas, raking in $62.8 million to date in 2019. The strategy, which his agent, WME’s Jay Williams, called “more of a Springsteen playbook than anything else” earlier this year, was highlighted by a twofer at Minneapolis’ Target Center that grossed $3.6 million.
Church also made his stadium-headlining debut at Nashville’s Nissan Stadium with a sold-out gig that moved 56,521 tickets and grossed $5.8 million.
Underwood, meanwhile, has sold out arenas across the country in 2019, including an Oct. 2 gig at New York’s Madison Square Garden that sold 16,900 tickets and grossed $1.3 million.
In an interview in the current issue of Pollstar, Underwood discussed the success of her current tour, which sports an all-female bill featuring Maddie & Tae and Runaway Jane.
“People have really reacted to this tour, which is a nice surprise and a breath of fresh air,” she said. “We didn’t know, but it felt like something I should do as a women who could sell the tickets.”
Though Rhett is less established than Stagecoach’s other headliners, he’s no slouch. The Grammy-nominated artist took home Male Artist of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards earlier this year, and appeared on Pollstar‘s Year End Top 100 Worldwide Tours chart in 2018 with a gross of $19.9 million.
Rhett’s 2019, which has raked in $31.5 million to date, has included sellouts at Xfinity Center in Mansfield, Mass., where he moved 19,714 tickets and grossed $1.5 million on Aug. 2, and Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Va., where he moved 21,741 tickets and grossed $1.4 million.
Of course, the lineup doesn’t end with Church, Underwood and Rhett, and Stagecoach has booked a characteristically deep event.
For one, Midland is among the genre’s fastest-growing acts.
“It’s very rowdy and fun, but it’s also very reverent about the music and the culture,” said co-manager Jason Owen, who at Sandbox Entertainment also works with Kacey Musgraves, Little Big Town and Dan + Shay, in Pollstar‘s current cover story. “Nostalgia, in a way, for things that defined the genre; yet it’s totally new the way they approach it. That’s the other thing: they don’t follow a script, or a plan. Most acts are so scripted; with Midland, you never know what they’re gonna do next.”
And Lil Nas X, who made headlines with a surprise appearance during Diplo’s Stagecoach set last year, is now featured on the bill. The ascendant young rapper, whose twangy country-rap smash “Old Town Road” topped the Billboard Hot 100 for a record-setting 19 consecutive weeks earlier this year, will appear on the same day as Cyrus, who featured on the most prominent “Old Town Road” remix.
“Stagecoach is a living, breathing animal,” Goldenvoice vice president of festival talent Stacy Vee told Pollstar earlier this year. “It bucks the trends and as we see country music making and adapting to changes, we can bring it. Being creative and trying new things enables us to have moments like we just did, with Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus and Diplo all together.”
Voted Pollstar‘s Talent Buyer of the Year the last two years and featured on Pollstar‘s inaugural Impact 50 list in May, Vee has played a seminal role in Stagecoach’s ascendance. The festival’s 2019 edition, headlined by Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt and Jason Aldean, broke attendance records, with Friday drawing an estimated 80,000, according to the Palm Springs Desert Sun.
Stagecoach passes go on sale on Oct. 18 at 11 a.m. PT. Find the festival’s full lineup below.