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Stagecoach: Surprise Guests Delight Fans As California’s Country Music Festival Returns

Carrie Underwood & Axl Rose at Stagecoach 2022 (Photo Credit: Jeff Johnson)


If you are like me and didn’t go to Stagecoach, California’s Country Music Festival, you may regret it… Plenty of surprise guests showed up and delighted fans. Here is a sample of what you could have witnessed: Axl Rose made an appearance during Carrie Underwood’s set, Lana Del Rey during Nikki Lane’s, Orville Peck during Tanya Tucker’s, The Beach Boys’ Mike Love during Locash’s, Ashton Kutcher during Thomas Rhett’s, Jon Pardi during Midland’s!

After a two-year hiatus Stagecoach returned with a thrilling three-day event in Indio. The Goldenvoice festival, established in 2007, was one for the record books with an all-star line-up for country fans around the world via a brand new Livestream partnership with YouTube.

On Friday, Maren Morris and Ryan Hurd stepped in on each other’s sets, and Orville Peck joined country legend Tanya Tucker for her Palomino Stage headline slot with a set-capping version of “Delta Dawn.” Over on the Mane Stage, Teddy Swims joined Mitchell Tenpenny for their collaboration “Elephant In The Room.” For Thomas Rhett’s “bucket list” debut as a Stagecoach headliner, he welcomed Jon Pardi for “Beer Can’t Fix” as well as Ashton Kutcher and HARDY for a version of Garth Brooks’ “Friends In Low Places.” Pardi was also a special guest for Midland’s set.

Saturday’s Mane Stage headliner, Carrie Underwood, stunned the massive crowd when she brought out Axl Rose to duet with her on Guns ‘N Roses’ “Sweet Child O’Mine” and “Paradise City” in a performance she called “The. Best. Night. Of. My. Life!!!” And, on Sunday, Lindsay Ell brought out members of Cheat Codes for “How Do You Love”, The Beach Boys’ Mike Love joined Locash for their song “Beach Boys,” and Lana Del Rey made a special appearance with Nikki Lane for her set at Lane’s personally curated Horseshoe Stage. Throughout the weekend artists paid tribute to beloved country star Naomi Judd; The Brothers Osborne, in one of the most celebrated sets of the festival, performed a verse and chorus of The Judd’s “Why Not Me.”

Celebrity chef Guy Fieri once again brought Flavortown to the desert with his biggest Stagecoach program to date. He was joined for cooking demonstrations by Sunday’s headliner Luke Combs as well as Midland and Locash with a capacity crowd at Guy’s Stagecoach Smokehouse. On Saturday, performing artists, including Ryan Hurd, Breland, and Travis Dennings appeared live on camera to help ABC announce the NFL Draft.

The always-spirited Stagecoach crowds flocked to the Honky Tonk Dance Hall, country music’s biggest dance party while Breland, Orville Peck, and Diplo supplied the Late Night In Palomino entertainment. With guest appearances on Breland and Diplo’s sets, Orville Peck performed on the Palomino Stage all three nights of the festival. Peck is also on the bill for Goldenvoice’s upcoming inaugural Palomino Festival in Pasadena on July 9 along with Kacey Musgraves, Willie Nelson, and more. Renowned for welcoming the best of emerging talent from the worlds of folk, bluegrass, roots rock, Americana, and alternative country, this year’s festival saw debuts from Reyna Roberts, Smokey Robinson, Ingrid Andress, Amythyst Kiah, Spencer Crandall, and Zach Bryan as well as the first year of attendance by The Compton Cowboys.

What a busy weekend!

All photos courtesy of Stagecoach and photographers Jackie Lee Young, Julia Drummond, Quinn Tucker

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