Stagecoach and Coachella 2022: What’s similar and different between the two festivals

View Original Notice ? Stagecoach and Coachella 2022: What’s similar and different between the two festivals

The Stagecoach Country Music Festival and the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival returned to the Empire Polo Club this spring for the first time in three years. The festivals happen on consecutive weekends and share some similarities in addition to star differences.

Here’s how the two festivals compare:

The music

Coachella: The music at Coachella incorporates genres and acts from all over the world. This year’s festival saw no rock bands headlining on the Coachella Stage and instead emphasized pop headliners such as Harry Styles and Billie Eilish.

There were also plenty of hip-hop acts, including Doja Cat, Megan Thee Stallion, and Lil Baby. Perhaps the most significant change on the Coachella stage this year was the increased incorporation of Latino music artists, which included bandas such as Grupo Firme and Banda MS and reggaeton stars Anitta and Karol G. There are a lot more artists performing at the festival each day than at Stagecoach and Coachella’s last performance usually goes well past midnight.

Stagecoach: As a country-centric festival, it’s no surprise that most of the bill consisted of country acts, including big name headliners such as Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood and Luke Combs. This year, however, marks one of Stagecoach’s most diverse lineups, which included Black and Latino acts and several LGBTQ performers. The diverse roster featured Motown and R&B legend Smokey Robinson, the country rapper and producer Breland and the multiethnic country and folk singer Rhiannon Giddens. The bill of artists is shorter than Coachella’s and by midnight all performances are over.

Both festivals also shared performers Diplo, Orville Peck and Yola.

Layout and crowds

Coachella: One of the biggest differences between Coachella and Stagecoach is the stages. Coachella has seven major stages: Coachella Stage, Outdoor Theatre, Sonora, Gobi, Mojave, Sahara, and Yuma. The festival’s age demographic also tends to skew younger.

As for seating, the floor is your only friend at Coachella, but you have to pick your spot wisely because people are constantly walking from stage to stage.

Stagecoach: Stagecoach has three stages, including the Mane Stage, which shifts 90 degrees from where the Coachella stage was and the Palomino Stage, which evolves from the Mojave Tent. There is also the Sirius XM Spotlight stage in front of the Mane Stage, where up-and-coming acts perform earlier in the day. The Yuma Tent transforms into the Honky Tonk Dance Hall.

The crowds at the festival tend to be more multigenerational, often including families from grandkids to grandparents.

The festival allows guests to bring their own portable chairs and also spreads hay bales throughout the grounds for additional seating. Portable chairs can be brought into the general admission area behind the VIP section, which has its own standing room and seats. It also includes walkways set up for people trying to maneuver to another stage or through the thousands of chairs. But if you still want to sit on the ground on a blanket, no one will stop you.

  • Festival goers stand before the ferris wheel during the Stagecoach...

    Festival goers stand before the ferris wheel during the Stagecoach Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio on Friday, April 29, 2022. (Photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, Contributing Photographer)

  • Country music fans dance to Benedicte Brenden, from Norway, at...

    Country music fans dance to Benedicte Brenden, from Norway, at the Nikki Lane Horseshoe Stage at the Stagecoach Country Music Festival in Indio Friday, April 29, 2022. It’s the first Stagecoach since 2019 due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

  • Joanna Hobbie, of Los Angeles, flaps her butterfly wings as...

    Joanna Hobbie, of Los Angeles, flaps her butterfly wings as she rides a seesaw during Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio on Friday, April 22, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Festival-goers party at the Do Lab stage during Coachella Valley...

    Festival-goers party at the Do Lab stage during Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio on Saturday, April 23, 2022. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)



The art

Coachella: The festival tends to be dominated by tall and bright structures, and this year was no different. Artworks included buoys, light-up butterfly chairsscience-based tunnelsflowery dogs, and Rage Against the Machine-inspired art.

Stagecoach: The festival art is less central than Coachella and is more spread out. It included a horse made of horseshoes and giant cowboy boots.

The festivals share the massive rainbow observation tower, “Spectra,” which gives people making their way through the tower a view of the festival in various color hues and a giant horse sculpture.

The fashion

Coachella: Most fashion trends are influenced by social media, which continued to play a role this year. This year’s festival looks included two-piece matching sets, button-ups, and mesh shirts and dresses. The variety of makeup styles was also integral in a way it wasn’t at Stagecoach.

Stagecoach: One of the most significant contrasts from Coachella was the amount of American flag apparel. Outfits also consisted of denim, cowboy boots and cowboy hats.

The two festivals shared two fashion elements. The first was bandanas, which help keep dust out of your face no matter which festival you attended and don’t ever seem to go out of style. The second was cow print. While cow print attire might feel like an exclusive element of the country festival, it’s been largely popularized on social media partly because of Doja Cat’s viral song, “Mooo!” on which she sings dressed in cow print.

A similarity in the layout was the location of the Ferris wheel, which offered the first 50 people in line a free ride at each festival.

The food

Coachella: The food at Coachella usually highlights the L.A. food scene, which includes a variety of trendy foods and plenty of Asian and Latin-inspired eats, along with some vegan and vegetarian stands.

Stagecoach: The festival leans much heavier on meats, with BBQ at its core. Celebrity chef Guy Fieri returned with his 40,000-square-foot tent of smoked and seasoned meats, Guy Fieri’s Stagecoach Smokehouse, where he passed out free BBQ samples to those hanging out by the smokehouse.

The booze

Coachella: Heineken returned as the festival’s official beer sponsor and brought back its Heineken House. The space included a beer garden for visitors to sample different beers from the company and provided games such as cornhole for people to play as they drank. The Craft Beer barn also returned with plenty of local and regional craft beers, including IPAs, Sours, and hard Kombucha.

Stagecoach: The Budweiser Clydesdales may not be around this year but finding a Budweiser and other American beers throughout the festival was not difficult. The craft beer bar was also back around for Stagecoach, and so were big-name brand tents, including Angry Orchard, Bud Light, Malibu and Jameson. One of the starkest differences is that people can roam freely with alcohol and aren’t limited to the beer gardens. At one point, vendors were walking around between crowds selling beers.

Both of the festivals shared a secret bar on site that was tiki- and shipwreck-themed.

The camping

Coachella: The festival usually offers tent or car camping, which remains relatively popular. The camping sites include activities such as morning yoga sessions, pilates and DJ sets.

Stagecoach:  Instead of cars and tent camping, the festival offers recreational vehicle camping, which sells out fairly quickly every year. It’s a significant part of the festival’s culture, with campers socializing and playing cornhole and other drinking games.

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