Like Sturgill Simpson before him, Chris Stapleton will bring rootsy stomp and Bible Belt twang to the California desert in April, serving as the only country artist on this year’s Coachella bill. He recently added a Saturday Night Live performance to his schedule too, as the musical guest of the sketch comedy’s January 16th episode, hosted by Star Wars villain Adam Driver.
Scheduled for the weekends of April 15th and 22nd, the upcoming Coachella festival will be headlined by two reunited bands: Guns N’ Roses, now featuring the majority of the band’s classic Appetite for Destruction-era lineup, and LCD Soundsystem, back after a half-decade break. Country acts are typically booked for Coachella’s sister event, the annual Stagecoach Festival in late April, which makes Stapleton’s inclusion all the more notable. His Coachella appearance is currently one of the final dates on a growing tour schedule that takes him from the Saturday Night Live stage to Mexico to the U.K. over the next four months, with nearly half of the shows already sold out.
Last year, Sturgill Simpson played both the Coachella and Stagecoach festivals, as well as Bonnaroo, Newport Folk Festival, New Orleans’ Jazz Fest and the Austin City Limits festival. Likewise, Stapleton — who recently shared the stage with Kings of Leon during a New Year’s Eve party in downtown Nashville, where the crew covered Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man” — seems poised for a similarly busy year.