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Stagecoach Country Music Festival kicks off Friday in Indio

Published On: Apr 24 2014 01:24:18 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 24 2014 01:53:57 PM CDT
Stagecoach country festival begins

Thousands of people are in town for the three day festival newschannel 3 photojournalist Christopher Tarpening caught up with some of the fans as they were getting ready for a big weekend

INDIO, Calif. -

The three-day Stagecoach festival will get underway in Indio Friday, with acts ranging from Jason Aldean to the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. 

The sold-out festival at the Empire Polo Club runs through Sunday, and around 50,000 people are expected daily. Headliners include Jennifer Nettles, Eric Church, Luke Bryan, Brantley Gilbert, John Prine, Lee Brice, Florida  Georgia Line, Don McClean and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Preparations at the polo grounds for Stagecoach, which started in 2007, began when the two-weekend Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival ended. Both  festivals are produced by Los Angeles-based promoter Goldenvoice.

Starting Friday, several Indio and La Quinta roads will be closed, and city officials expect  delays on some well-traveled routes to and from the polo grounds.

   Here's a rundown of the closed roads:

   -- Avenue 49 between Hjorth and Monroe streets,

   -- Avenue 50 between Madison and Jackson streets,

   -- Hjorth between avenues 49 and 50, and

   -- Madison between avenues 49 and 52.

 Delays are expected on southbound Jefferson, Washington and Monroe  streets, from Interstate 10 to Avenue 52; on Highway 111 at Jefferson and Monroe streets; and on the exits from eastbound I-10 at Jefferson and Monroe.

North and southbound travelers should use Washington, Jackson, Calhoun streets and Golf Center Parkway, city officials said.

Drivers trying to move east and west should use Fred Waring Drive, Miles Avenue and avenues 48 and 52, according to the city.

Taxis will be at the southwest corner of Avenue 49 and Monroe, and concert-goers can picked up and dropped off at Avenue 52 and Madison.

Pedestrians and golf carts will not be allowed on Monroe between avenues 49 and 52, but pedestrians will be allowed access at Avenue 49 and Monroe and Avenue 52 and Madison.

California Highway Patrol officers will be ``aggressively searching for impaired drivers,'' Officer Mike Radford said.

``Prior to celebrating this weekend, add a sober driver or another safe form of transportation to your Stagecoach lineup,'' he said.

To avoid traffic on I-10 west, locals should use alternates routes such as Country Club Drive, Varner Road and Fred Waring Drive, he said. Interstate traffic backed both Mondays following the Coachella festival weekends.

Indio police spokesman Ben Guitron said festivalgoers should stay hydrated, ``go easy on the alcohol'' and not use anything that's not permitted or illegal.

``We want them to come out and enjoy themselves,'' he said.

He said that authorities make adjustments every year to improve security at the festival.

``We feel confident it's going to be successful event,'' he said.

Eighty-six people were arrested the second weekend of Coachella and 80 the first weekend, mostly for drug and alcohol-related offenses. The first weekend was marked by tragedy when 24-year-old Kimchi Truong of Oakland collapsed at the festival grounds on April 12.

Truong died five days later at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs. The Riverside County Coroner's Office said it could take up to six  weeks for an autopsy and toxicological tests to be completed to determine what  killed her, but coroner's officials previously indicated that she may have  overdosed.

Weather this weekend is expected to be slightly cooler than during Coachella, with highs expected to reach the low to mid 80s. On Saturday, a high of 74 and a slight chance of showers are predicted, according to the National Weather Service.

Stagecoach Traffic Maps and Headlines

More information about the Stagecoach Festival.

Those with other questions or problems, can call  the city at (760) 541-7800 or send email to concertinfo@indio.org.