Brandi Carlile ‘finally got’ COVID-19 and had to drop out of this weekend’s Stagecoach

A woman in a gray sweater and a cowboy hat
Brandi Carlile photographed in Hollywood on Oct. 3, 2019.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

COVID-19 “finally” got folk-rock musician Brandi Carlile, forcing the Grammy winner to cancel her appearance at the Stagecoach country music festival this weekend.

“Hey, buddies. It finally happened. I have the COVID,” the “Right on Time” and “The Joke” singer said Wednesday in an Instagram video. “So I won’t be able to come to Stagecoach. Ugh. it’s horrible. I’m a few days in, and I have a chest infection, but I think I turned a corner today and I’m starting to feel a little bit better.

“I just want to let everybody know that I’m devastated to be missing you, and I hope you have a wonderful time out there with all my freakin’ friends,” the 40-year-old added. “See you on the other side of this trash.”

Like Coachella, Stagecoach’s return follows two years of cancellations due to COVID. Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood and Luke Combs are the headliners.

April 27, 2022


Organizers of the desert festival in Indio, Calif., wished Carlile a speedy recover on Wednesday and posted an updated schedule of acts online. The singer-songwriter was set to take the Palomino stage Friday at 7:40 p.m. but has been replaced by her friend and frequent collaborator Tanya Tucker.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to climb in California, which is reporting an average of about 5,000 new coronavirus infections a day, up nearly 85% from last month. However, hospitalizations have yet to follow the same path and are at near-record lows for the pandemic, The Times reported Wednesday.

The three-day Stagecoach festival comes on the heels of — and in the same location as — the two-weekend Coachella Music and Arts Festival. It’s one of the largest country music festivals in the world and is back after its pandemic-induced hiatus. Goldenvoice, which produces both festivals, also loosened COVID-19 restrictions for the events as the winter surge waned.

A slew of acts have canceled tour dates as COVID cases rise once again, casting a pall over what was shaping up to be a record-setting concert season.

April 26, 2022

This year’s fest boasts headliners Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood and Luke Combs. Other acts slated for Friday include Maren Morris and Midland. The Brothers Osborne, Margo Price and Orville Peck will perform Saturday and the Black Crowes, Smokey Robinson and Lainey Wilson will take their respective stages on Sunday.

For those like Carlile who can’t attend in person, the festival will also be streamed for free on YouTube beginning at 3 p.m. Pacific Friday.