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The 40,000-square-foot Stagecoach Smokehouse will feature meats from the city's top pitmasters

Gowri Chandra
February 14, 2018

Music festivals have been upping their culinary game in recent years—last year’s Coachella, for example, featured Roy Choi’s POT, Neal Fraser’s Fritzi Coop and Marcel Vigneron’s Wolf.

Stagecoach is no exception to the trend. The ten-year-old country music festival will be held in Indio, California this spring—famously also the site of Coachella—and boasts an all-star line up of barbecue vendors, many of them from nearby Los Angeles. Oh, yeah, and music-wise, Garth Brooks and Keith Urban will be there too.

But back to the menu. The 40,000-square-foot Stagecoach Smokehouse area will feature Bludso’s BBQ, one of the most raved-about spots in Los Angeles. In 2013, Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold called it the best in the city; the original outpost is located in Compton, and is helmed by Texas transplant Kevin Bludso. That Compton location is currently closed, but others thrive in the city—and, unexpectedly, in Melbourne: that’s how popular Bludso’s became. There’s no word on the exact menu offerings yet, or if the famous Texas Sampler, bbq rib tips or collard greens will make an appearance.

Baby Blues BBQ will also be in attendance—the mini-chain one of the more popular spots in the city, although its West Hollywood location recently closed to make way for the West Coast debut of Employees Only, New York’s famous cocktail bar.

Other vendors are set to include Barrell & Ashes, Big Dev’s BBQ, Dad’s Chillin & Grillin BBQ, Roof Top BBQ, Smokin Mo’s and When Pigs Fly. Are these going to impress Southerners who’ve studied the holy grails of Carolina-style meat and threes, or Memphis-style wet ribs? Maybe, maybe not. But for festival fare, it’s pretty great.

Last but not least, TV personality Guy Fieri will be also be there, serving up barbecue that he says is inspired by the Carolinas, Cali, and Kansas. He’s also going to be featuring some vendors from his show, Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, although no specific names have been announced yet.

Stagecoach takes place in Indio from April 27 to 29, and tickets start at $329. The Smokehouse area will feature a full bar and will run from 11 a.m. to 11p.m. daily; cash and credit card accepted.