Stagecoach has rolled into Indio station and The Desert Sun is among the first on scene, scoping out what is new and cool at the Empire Polo Club fields. While the general layout will be familiar to longtime festivalgoers, we found plenty of cool things to do between sets, both in and out of the shade.
Nikki Lane’s Stage Stop Marketplace
Stagecoach’s one-stop shop for all your western wear needs has found a new home in the shade under what’s known as the Sahara tent at Coachella.
What the area is lacking in ambiance is made up for in the immense amount of shade the massive tent provides, not to mention the abundance of fun vintage shops. The vibe is an interesting mix of kitschy, often patriotic, T-shirt stands and more quality-forward shops selling everything from turquoise jewelry to original art, and we were particularly excited about the old-timey photo booths — a fun addition to an area that’s been less experiential in the past.
The marketplace is also home to the Horseshoe Stage, where festivalgoers can grab a beer and sit on picnic tables or hay bales and listen to up-and-coming performers.
New this year is the Compton Cowboys area, where this iconic Southern California riding group will show its horses and educate attendees on the legacy of African Americans in equine and Western heritage.
Miami Vice meets country cool in Sonny’s a bar, located in a vintage cinder block equestrian building in the Stagecoach lobby. Pink and teal is the vibe, with plenty of greenery, flamingos and blender drinks on tap while ’80s hits play, providing a welcome respite from the hot desert sun. This gem of a bar was curated by Attaboy (NYC and Nashville) was set up for Coachella, but was hidden from view.
Guy Fieri’s Stagecoach Smokehouse
Almost as anticipated as the music, the food at Stagecoach is a meat-lover’s dream and this year will not disappoint, with the Mayor of Flavortown Guy Fieri holding court in the main food tent. Mayor Fieri was spied on scene right as the gates opened, getting ready for one of his many food demonstrations planned throughout the weekend. Some of the stands carry the Fieri brand, along with lots of other options. One this holds true for all of the food offerings … the smell is amazing.
A schedule of the live demos:
‘MISMO’ is back … in two parts
Artist Sofia Enriquez — who has strong Coachella Valley connections — created “MISMO,” a series of three-dimensional paisley murals made from painted wood for the 2019 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. In a clever reuse of the installation, Goldenvoice spread the paisleys throughout the 2022 Stagecoach ground. Paisleys have been used often in her public art, Enriquez said in a 2019. But “MISMO” marked the first time she’s using them on such a large scale.
“We are all in this life and our lives can look different,” she wrote, “and the paisleys are a metaphor for equality.”
Branded alcohol areas
We were pleasantly surprised by the alcohol brands’ tents, particularly the Malibu, Angry Orchard and JuneShine tents — if you can call them that. In actuality, the Angry Orchard Treehouse is a fairly legit treehouse, and The Malibu Spot is designed to look like a house sliced in half with a pineapple bar, “cloud room” photo op and “coco disco room” for some added party vibes. Next door, the JuneShine Oasis had the ideal boho-chic aesthetic, with pretty floral wallpaper, crochet-fringed umbrellas and pampas grass setting the vibe for a beacy spot to drink your hard kombucha.
This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: Stagecoach 2022: A first look at the BBQ, shopping, hidden bars