Lineup for country music festival includes Carrie Underwood, Eric Church, Lil Nas X, more

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Stagecoach Country Music Festival promoter Goldenvoice has announced the lineup with some returning favorites and a new face topping the bill of the 14th annual event set for April 24-26, 2020 at the Empire Polo Club in Indio.

Singer-songwriter Thomas Rhett, who has racked up an impressive amount of hits within the last handful of years with songs such as “Die a Happy Man,” “Life Changes,” “Craving You” and more, will headline Stagecoach for the first time and officially kick off the party on Friday night. “American Idol” winner and country music superstar Carrie Underwood will return to top the festival for a third time on Saturday night in her first trip back since 2016. Eric Church is also returning for a third time. He headlined Friday nights in 2014 and 2016, but will close out the Mane Stage on  Sunday.

“All three of them have just forged down their own paths of becoming enormous, but all in their own way, which I really love,” Stacy Vee, the festival’s talent buyer, said during a phone interview ahead of the announcement, citing Underwood’s recent and highly successful Cry Pretty 360 Tour, Eric Church’s career-spanning Double Down outing and Rhett’s forward-thinking singles and stage production.

Passes for the country festival, which happens at the same venue following the twin weekends of sister event, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, go on sale at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct 18, at stagecoachfestival.com.

With Stagecoach 2019, Vee took a big chance and brought on award-winning EDM artist Diplo to close out the entire festival Sunday night on the Palomino Stage. She and Diplo both were confident it would go over well, but the reaction exceeded their expectations. Thousands of fans stuck around and danced in the rain during Diplo’s set and he brought out special guests, including Billy Ray Cyrus and Lil Nas X who performed their massive hit, “Old Town Road,” live for the first time.

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Diplo will return to host the afterparty on Sunday and Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus will perform a full set each in 2020.

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“Our country artists today are inspired by artists of all genres,” Vee said. “I feel like that’s really reflected in what’s going on in country music these days. I’m just going wherever the wind takes us and these artists are out there having a great time making music that’s totally unique and I’m doing the same thing. I’m booking a show that’s taking chances, coloring outside of the lines and I’m getting creative and having a great time, too.”

That said, Vee noted that she will never forget where Stagecoach came from or the die-hard country music fans who sought out the festival in early years to catch some of the biggest names and icons within the genre. Next year, Alan Jackson will make his return to the festival. He performed on the Mane Stage during the inaugural year of the festival, alongside George Strait in 2007. Other iconic country music figures including Tanya Tucker, Marty Stuart, Neal McCoy, Pam Tillis and Shenandoah will also perform in 2020.

“I want to make sure to continue to grow Stagecoach and change it as country music changes, but I want people who have been coming to Stagecoach for a long time to know it’s still their show,” Vee said. “I want to deliver a country music experience for every single person and make sure there’s offerings for every type of fan to get excited about.”

Rising stars Brett Young, RaeLynn, Dustin Lynch, Morgan Wallen, Midland, Dan+Shay, Jon Pardi, Riley Green and Chris Lane are also on the bill. Vee can’t wait for fans to check out the up-and-coming talent on the SiriusXM Spotlight Stage, which will include Ingrid Andress, Caylee Hammack, Jade Jackson, Niko Moon, Brandon Ratcliff and Temecula Road, among others, performing sets early in the day.

Rock band ZZ Top will return to Stagecoach for the first time in five years and Canadian singer-songwriter Bryan Adams is a bit of a wild card for the lineup, too.

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“I like to throw in a few curve balls,” Vee said. “I am always looking for somebody who is just country enough with a lot of hits and high energy. This year we had Bret Michaels and I was just keeping my eyes peeled for someone like that to bring in and Bryan Adams seemed to be a fun choice that I bet no one was thinking would ever be on the bill and that’s why I love it.”

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