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THE COUNT: ALL THE DESERT'S A STAGE

The dust has settled following back-to-back Coachella weekends at Empire Polo Field in Indio, California, but it will surely be kicked up to the extreme when the Stagecoach Music Festival gallops back there this weekend, featuring such major headlining talent as Eric Church (WME), Miranda Lambert (WME) and Morgan Wallen (The Neal Agency).

The strength of the bill, which also includes Willie Nelson (CAA), Jelly Roll (CAA), HARDY (The Neal Agency), Bailey Zimmerman (The Neal Agency) and The Beach Boys (WME), helped propel this year’s gathering to the most robust sales in its 16-year history; all available tickets went clean less than a month after going on sale last September.

The Stagecoach lineup, like that of Coachella, is overseen by Goldenvoice EVP and festival mastermind Stacy Vee, who ensures that the late-April desert spectacular’s offerings extend beyond traditional country, as evidenced by acts such as Elle King (WME), Carin León (UTA) and Megan Moroney (UTA).

While plenty of observers are curious to see if country bad boy Wallen addresses his recent arrest for tossing a chair off a Nashville bar rooftop, the loudest pre-show buzz belongs to Post Malone (UTA), who is featured on Taylor Swift’s new single, “Fortnight.” Posty will perform a set of country covers during a prime-time Saturday main-stage slot and may even present material from the upcoming but as-yet-unannounced album he made primarily in Nashville.

Elsewhere, Canadian hard rockers Nickelback (CAA), who brought country artists such as Brantley Gilbert (WME) and Josh Ross (The Neal Agency) as support on their latest tour, will make their Stagecoach debut at 11:10pm Friday on the Palomino Stage, a spot usually set aside for a rap or EDM act.


From top: Stacy Vee, Morgan Wallen, Carin León, Megan Moroney

Leon Bridges (CAA), Diplo (Wasserman) and Wiz Khalifa (WME) are also scheduled to appear, and although it seems like a long shot, wonderers are wondering if there’s any truth to rumors that Beyoncé (CAA) will indeed make a surprise appearance to promote COWBOY CARTER.

For the couch potatoes out there, kick your cowboy boots up, pour some Jack Daniels into that Diet Coke and tune in to Amazon Music, which has exclusive streaming rights for this year’s gathering.

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