INDIO, Calif.- - The 2019 Stagecoach Festival -- the world's biggest country music show -- began today featuring some of the biggest names in country music, but women performers appear to have been relegated to a secondary role.
Highs expected to hit triple-digits nearing 105 degrees will add to the western aura of the country festival, with more than 80 stars lined up to perform this weekend. One of Nashville's biggest stars, Luke Bryan, will headline tonight, with Sam Hunt and Jason Aldean leading on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
Country isn't the only genre on the menu though. Legendary rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd will take the stage Saturday with 78-year-old Welsh R&B superstar Tom Jones featured alongside electronic DJ Diplo on Sunday.
On Wednesday, the pop DJ announced a new country music persona with accompanying single ``So Long'' to go along with the weekend's theme, according to Pitchfork magazine.
FULL STAGECOACH TRAFFIC ALERTS:
For country fans more interested in the ambiance of the desert festival, amenities like Honkytonk Dance Hall and Nikki Lane's Stage Stop Marketplace, which debuted at last year's festival, will return this year, along with old favorites like the Half-Pint Hootenanny, the Budweiser Clydesdales and Guy Fieri's Stagecoach Smokehouse.
There is one missing element in the headlines -- zero women performing on the main stage. But, although no women will headline this year's festival, more than two dozen are billed over the weekend. That includes Alabama-native Tiera, 10-year-old Ansley Oakley, Staten Island's Becca Mancari, Canadian Whitney Rose and actress-singer Rita Wilson.
General admission passes for the country festival priced at $349 are sold out, while general admission and shuttle pass combos are available for $409.
Honkytonkers trekking into Indio should be aware that despite the availability of the Any Line Shuttle, which can carry festivalgoers between the grounds and area hotels, major congestion is still anticipated on multiple routes.
Travelers motoring through the desert should expect traffic delays starting today and continuing through Sunday on the following stretches:
- Southbound Jefferson, Washington and Monroe streets from the 10 Freeway to Avenue 52;
- Avenue 48 between Jefferson and Jackson streets;
- Highway 111 at Jefferson and Monroe streets; and
- Eastbound 10 Freeway exits at Jefferson, Monroe and Washington streets.
Several significant road closures are also planned Friday through Monday:
- Avenue 49 between Hjorth and Monroe streets;
- Avenue 50 between Madison and Jackson streets;
- Hjorth Street between Avenue 49 and Avenue 50; and
- Madison Street between Avenue 49 and Avenue 52.
For motorists traveling north- and south-bound, city officials suggest taking Washington, Jackson and Calhoun streets as well as Golf Center Parkway; while east-west travelers should use Highway 111, Fred Waring Drive,
Miles Avenue, Dr. Carreon Boulevard and Avenue 54.
Around 40,000 festival attendees will spill out of the desert fairgrounds Monday, prompting authorities to warn of significant traffic on the 10 Freeway. The 10 and the 60 freeways are also expected to experience seriouscongestion over the weekend.
``Motorists who plan to use Interstate 10 between Beaumont and Indio or state Route 60 from Moreno Valley to Beaumont during these events will experience traffic delays during peak travel times,'' Caltrans spokeswoman Terri Kasinga said.
Traffic will be heaviest for eastbound travelers on Friday before the event, and congestion is expected Sunday for motorists heading westbound.
``Avoid delays by leaving early mornings on those peak travel days or wait to travel the day after the peak travel day,'' Kasinga said.
A special traffic warning also was issued for those coming from Temecula via the 15 Freeway because state routes 74 and 243 are closed for repairs, Kasinga said. Rather than enduring delays on the closed and partially closed freeways, travelers should exit the 15 Freeway at Interstate 215 northbound and then travel east on either the 10 or 60 freeways.
Indio officials encouraged Stagecoach attendees to take advantage of the Any LineShuttle, which costs $80 for the weekend and services hotels in Palm Springs, Palm Desert,Indian Wells and other local resorts.
Information on the Any Line Shuttle is available at this link.
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