In only its third outing, this year’s ABC DAYTIME AND SOAPNET PRESENT STAGECOACH: CALIFORNIA’S COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL POWERED BY TOYOTA has joined the ranks of major U.S. festivals after attracting more than 50,000 music fans a day on Saturday, April 25 and Sunday, April 26 at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, CA. Featuring some of the top talent in the country music world today, the festival included headliners Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney, Reba and Kid Rock and more than 30 acts.

This year’s Stagecoach was praised onstage by Saturday night headliner Paisley as “the greatest festival in the history of music.” Cowboy storyteller Waddie Mitchell also shared his feelings about STAGECOACH: “It’s amazing what those young people (at the Goldenvoice promotion company) can do…I’m not sure if it’s not the best [festival] I’ve ever been to as far as being organized as treating the artists well.”

The annual outing also set a STAGECOACH record for the number of onsite overnighters; more than 2,500 RVs and 3,000 tent campers set up mini villages adjacent to the festival grounds.

Some initial critical feedback on this year’s STAGECOACH includes:

USA TODAY (4/27): “Two weekends into the destination music-festival season, signs of the bad economy were nowhere to be seen…”

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY.COM (4/27): “Someday, you’ll all have to come to Indio for Coachella, and stay the following weekend for Stagecoach. Even if you’re not a huge country music fan, it’s worth it just to witness the transformation the Empire Polo Fields undergo…”

CMT.COM (4/27): “If anyone still requires proof that country music is a big tent, consider the penultimate performers on the main stage each night at this past weekend’s Stagecoach Festival in the southern California desert…the third annual gathering…reached new attendance heights at the sprawling polo grounds in Indio over the weekend…there is certainly a shared feeling among many artists that Stagecoach might already be the nation’s premier live-twang blowout, having grown from a curious experiment to a country music institution in just a couple of years.”

LOS ANGELES TIMES (4/27): “Two faces of contemporary country music stood in striking relief at the third edition of Stagecoach, the country music festival held in Indio over the weekend. On one side, topping Saturday’s bill, was Brad Paisley, a self-professed music geek…at the other end, as Sunday’s headliner, was Kenny Chesney, who sells more concert tickets year in and year out…But along with those marquee names, Stagecoach served up a wealth of stellar stylistic torchbearers (Ralph Stanley, Earl Scruggs, Ricky Skaggs, Doyle Lawson) and brash mavericks who view rules as something to be broken, not followed (Maxim Ludwig, Randy Houser, the Duhks). It also delivered a deeply satisfying walk through the history of Southern California country rock.”

DESERT SUN (4/27): “Kenny Chesney drove the Stagecoach home Sunday after a successful two-day journey at the Empire Polo Club in Indio…Stagecoach continued to build on its brand as possibly the most diverse country music festival in North America. For the first time, the diversity spilled over onto the Mane Stage, where the radio-friendly contemporary country artists usually hold court.”

PRESS ENTERPRISE (4/27): “With camping chairs packed with country music fans as far as the eye could see at the Empire Polo Field, the Stagecoach Country Music Festival wrapped up its third year of big performances and big country Sunday. Fans from across Southern California and the Southwest came out to see big stars such as Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, Reba McEntire and Miranda Lambert…”

STAGECOACH is produced by Goldenvoice, The Messina Group and Moore Entertainment Group and is sponsored by ABC Daytime and SOAPnet, Toyota, Budweiser, PlayStation and CMT.

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