This weekend in sunny Southern California, Sturgill Simpson will be taking the stage at the annual Stagecoach Festival in Indio—the country music cousin of the massive 2-weekend Coachella gathering. Sturgill Simpson is one of the few to ever play both the Coachella and Stagecoach weekends, speaking to the wide swath of listeners the country music revivalist appeals to.
Even more surprising is where Sturgill Simpson is ranked as far as popularity when it comes to Stagecoach attendees according to a recent study released by ticket broker StubHub. Using search data, Sturgill ranked #3 in popularity, only beat out by top headliners Tim McGraw and Miranda Lambert. This is all despite virtually no radio play for the Kentucky-born songwriter, and the fact that he sits on the 3rd tier as far as font size on the Stagecoach poster (see below).
Even more surprising is who Sturgill beats out in the study. Looking through the Top 15, Simpson bests the 3rd day headliner Blake Shelton by a full 11 spots. He also comes out ahead of other mainstream acts like Kip Moore and The Band Perry, and legendary acts like George Thorogood and Gregg Allman.
Also making the Top 15 was critic’s favorite Kacey Musgraves at #6, independent group The Lone Bellow at #8, and the legendary Merle Haggard at #9. Miranda Lambert came in at #1, besting her hubby Blake Shelton by a wide margin.
It was also determined in the study that 88% of attendees to Stagecoach come from California, while at Coachella the number is only 54%.
Sturgill’s set at Coachella was very well attended and received (see video below). It will be interesting to see what size font Sturgill gets if he makes the trip to Indio next year.