Stagecoach, the country music festival from Coachella promoter Goldenvoice that goes down at the same site every spring, has banned displays of the Confederate flag on the premises this year. As the Desert Sun reports, the festival’s code of conduct has been updated with a new provision: “No divisive symbols, including, without limitation, Confederate flags and racially disparaging or other inappropriate imagery/public displays.” The message repeats in multiple sections of the Stagecoach website, including General Resort Rules and Festival Info.
According to Variety, the Confederate flag has been a point of contention at past editions of Stagecoach. The flag used to be a fixture of merch and clothing at the fest, but it now mostly appears in the camping area. Stagecoach performer Maren Morris commented on this trend in a 2021 virtual chat: “At these country music festivals, I see the Confederate flags in the parking lots. I don’t want to play those festivals anymore. If you were a Black person, would you ever feel safe going to a show with those flying in the parking lot?”
This year’s Stagecoach lineup is touted as the most diverse in the fest’s history, with performers of color including Smokey Robinson, Yola, Charley Crockett, Rhiannon Giddens, Neil McCoy, Breland, Reyna Roberts, Shy Carter, Randy Savvy, and Amythyst Kiah. It’s going down from today through Sunday at Empire Polo Grounds in Indio, California, and will be livestreamed starting at 6:30PM ET below. Headliners include Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood, and Luke Combs.