Boot, scoot and boogie on out to Indio

By Renee Etcheberria |Staff Writer|

Country fans are dusting off their cowboy hats and boots as the Stagecoach Country Music Festival 2011 returns for its fifth consecutive year.

The festival will begin on April 30, and conclude on May 1, guaranteeing a weekend of top-notch country acts under the Indio sun.

This year’s headlining acts will include Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts, and Carrie Underwood.  Other top charting artists that will take the stage are Darius Rucker, Josh Turner, Easton Corbin, Chris Young and Leon Russell.

Stagecoach is one of Southern California’s largest country music gatherings where fans and performers are equally enthused. Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts expressed his excitement on a local radio station about the estimated 50,000 fans that are coming out to see all the performers.

The festival will take place at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, CA.  Tickets for the event are sold as two day passes that cost $149. Upon arrival to the festival the ticket is exchanged for a wristband that is good for the entire weekend.

If dealing with the hassle of driving or hotel accommodations is too troublesome, then on-site camping is available.

There are two main RV campsites, Eldorado 1 and Eldorado 2, that are both within walking distance of the stages. The campsite is where things can get a little crazy, with slip and slides, wading pools, horseshoe games and a plethora of tables for beer pong and flip cup.

As of today, however, both campsites are sold out. The only way to get campsite passes is through craigslist.com, with passes starting at $600.

Stagecoach is composed of three stages: Mane Stage, Mustang Stage and Palomino Stage. The Mane Stage hosts the headlining acts while the Mustang Stage and Palamino Stage are for the smaller acts, ranging from The Secret Sisters to The Punch Brothers.

The festival opens up at noon and does not end when the sun goes down. The artists play well into the night, rain or shine.

Sustaining Indio’s heat and humidity can be tough, so attendees are welcome to bring chairs, towels and blankets to sit on.

All ages are welcome at Stagecoach.  There is a beer garden for those patrons 21 and over but there also is a just for family section.

The Half-Pint Hootenanny camp offers a kid friendly environment both Saturday and Sunday from 12pm-6pm.

All kids 10 and under are free for the festival and camp. The camp activities include everything from a face painting to a petting zoo.

While die-hard country fans enjoy some of music’s biggest stars, many charities such Indio Youth Task, Indio Teen Center, Indio Senior Center, Silverlake Conservatory of Music and The Painted Turtle all benefit from the Stagecoach Festival.

For more information on the Stagecoach Country Music Festival visit stagecoachfestival.com

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