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Stagecoach last day…

Story and photos by Pat Krause
Story and photos by Pat Krause

Another successful Stagecoach bit the dust on Sunday April 28th. The heat reached record levels on Saturday and Sunday. Fans found refuge from the heat in the many tents and stage areas away from the sun. Water misters were everywhere and people were cooling each other off with them. Water stations were busy filling water containers and misters.

The line up was not as strong as other years but there were still top names in country music. A few older legends from country music like Marty Stuart, Don Williams, Charlie Pride, who was introduced to the crowd by American Idol Judge Randy Jackson. Charlie Daniels, wowed the crowd with his rendition of his most famous songs. They played in the Mustang and Palomino stages where people could sit or stand on hay bales to watch the performances.

I found a few really good blue grass bands with fantastic fiddle players and so did the fans. All 3 stages were filled at almost every performance. Fans would run from one stage to another as they were fairly close together and they could catch many performances that way. Much easier to see all the bands than at Coachella Fest where there were 6 stages and a lot more bands. There were walkways to get from one place to another.

There were a few celebrities that took time from acting to perform with their bands. Jeff Bridges, Katey Sagal and John C. Reilly to name a few. Kenny Loggins came with his new band.

Top names on Sunday’s Mane stage were Lonestar, Thompson Square, Darius Rucker and the final performer of Stagecoach was Zac Brown Band. Each band filled the grounds with young and old alike. There seems to be no age barrier for country music. Families with small children playing were fun to see. There was room for the little ones to run around and the Halfpint Hootnanny was filled with children. The huge Ferris Wheel was also very busy.

Concert goers found many things to do beside listen to great music all day. The Toyota tent had Line Dancing lessons. Large crowds were dancing to the music and could be seen practicing what they learned to the songs of other singers. Stagecoach T-shirts sold out early. Vendors sold hundreds of cowboy hats, scarves and western garb. BBQ lovers headed to the BBQ cook-off.

The crowds were smaller this year because of the strict restrictions on camping. No car camping was allowed and RVers had to write an essay on why they wanted to come to Stagecoach to get in and had to prove ownership. No rental RVs were allowed either. Stagecoach is a place to party but Goldenvoice wanted to keep the partying under control. Security was ever present which made it more of a family oriented event where grandparents, parents and their children could enjoy the experience together.

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