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Fans cheer during Eric Paslay's performance at the Mane Stage during the opening day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Friday's headliner Eric Church performs on the Mane Stage during opening day of the of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Fans are silhouetted by clouds as they cheer during Eric Paslay's performance at the Mane Stage during opening day of theof the Stagecoach Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Friday's headliner Eric Church, left, performs on the Mane Stage during opening day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

From left, Tim Lind, of Temecula, holds the face of day 1 headliner Eric Church, Bruce Dowhan, of San Diego holds the face of day 2 headliner Jason Aldean, and Chris Allen, of Long Beach, holds the face of day 3 headliner Luke Bryan at the RV Resort during the Stagecoach Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

A hologram of Kelly Clarkson is shown during a duet with Jason Aldean as Aldean headlines day two of the of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

A woman cools off in front of misting fans on opening day of the of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

A fan sports a horse head as she joins the crowd cheering Lee Brice as he performs on the Mane Stage on the final day of the of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Luke Bryan and guitarist Michael Carter, left, perform their headlining show on the final day of the of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Ashley Monroe performs on the Mane Stage during the Stagecoach Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Bruce Dowhan, left, of San Diego and Tim Lind, of Temecula, show off Lind's Bison head mounted in front of Dowhan's RV in between acts at the RV Resort during the Stagecoach Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

On a hot day, Cody Warren, of San Francisco, relaxes in a portable pool as friend, Lindsey Dal Porto, in background, also of San Francisco, laughs with a friend by their RV at the Stagecoach Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Fans dance as Don McLean plays American Pie while performs on the Palomino Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Country music fans rally as they play a drinking game called flip cup in the RV Resort at the Stagecoach Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Jennifer Nettles performs on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Fans cheer as Jennifer Nettles performs on the Mane Stage during the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

A couple snuggle on a swing in the RV Resort after all the performances ended on the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Country music fans line dance on Go Country 105's dance floor in the RV Resort after Jason Aldean's performance on the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

The crowd cheers on Dustin Lynch as he performs on the Mane Stage on the final day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

A large sell-out crowd cheers as Luke Bryan performs his headlining show on the final day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Florida Georgia Line performs on the Mane Stage on the final day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Lee Brice performs on the Mane Stage on the final day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Sunny, a quarter horse used for mounted security with rider Dave Raymond, drinks water out of a swimming pool as country music fans John Rust, and Lindsey Dal Porto, both of San Francisco, keep Sunny calm with petting in the RV Resort on the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Connor Brown, 5, of Buena Park, chases his dad with a spray bottle on a hot day in the RV Resort on the second day of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

A country music fan has a elevated view of Eric Paslay's performance at the Mane Stage during the Stagecoach Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

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Stagecoach 2014: Country festival is young fans' kinda party

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Stagecoach 2014: Country festival is young fans’ kinda party

By Randy Lewis

Country music’s recent transformation from a form that spoke to a cross-generational audience about life’s broader themes into a party-minded soundtrack for young adults was starkly apparent over the weekend at the 2014 edition of the Stagecoach Country Music Festival in Indio.

The daily turnout of some 63,000 was awash in concert-goers in their late teens and early 20s, with women outnumbering men on the order of 3- or 4-1 and, other than a healthy sprinkling of cowboy hats and boots, appearing little different than the toned and tanned crowd you’d expect at a Miami spring-break blowout.

That has a lot to do with the three-day festival’s headliners this year, a troika of male country stars — Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean and Eric Church — who have built careers singing party-minded songs to party-minded listeners.

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