Kacey Musgraves will headline Southern California’s largest festival celebrating Americana, alt-country and roots music when she takes the stage for Goldenvoice’s brand-new Palomino Festival, July 9 at the Rose Bowl’s Brookside grounds.
Joining the six-time Grammy winning superstar is fellow Texan and outlaw country legend Willie Nelson and Family, his longtime touring and recording group formed in the 1970s on the beer-soaked floors of Austin’s Armadillo World Headquarters. Accompanying Musgraves and Nelson are more than a dozen of the genre’s mostly celebrated acts including Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, whose sound draws heavily from his home state of Alabama and the influence of Athens, Georgia; the recently reunited red dirt touring outfit Turnpike Troubadours, Nashville string band Old Crow Medicine Show and the mysteriously masked cowboy crooner Orville Peck.
The one-day festival, booked and curated by head Goldenvoice talent buyer Stacy Vee, is an homage to a musical tradition deeply rooted in the American experience that defies any single unifying description. For some, the genre is a mix of country and western themes combined with influences from indie rock, punk and alternative, while for others the musical form is a careful deconstruction, stripping away modernity to create an authentic sound inspired by the past.
“I’ve always wanted to do this type of festival, focused on music that lives on the edge lives of what is and isn’t country,” Vee tells Billboard, noting that the name Palomino is in part a tribute to the former North Hollywood Palomino country music club. “It’s very important to me that these artists that I cultivated amazing relationships with get their own look and moment.”
Alt-country and Americana have never neatly fit in to Southern California’s live music landscape until recent years, thanks largely in part to the Stagecoach music festival Goldenvoice books every April in the Coachella Valley. As a talent buyer for Stagecoach, Vee has reliably booked acts like the Sturgill Simpson and Tyler Childers on the festival’s Palomino stage alongside Nashville powerhouse acts like Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, and Garth Brooks.
Besides producing carefully crafted live sets for artists, Goldenvoice has helped book and grow countless Americana acts and helps support the careers of artists like Musgraves, whose appeal to both mainstream and alt-country audiences is in small part boosted by Vee and other music execs’ effort to keep her in front of different audiences
Besides the genre’s popularity, Stagecoach has been an important medium for establishing the sound’s unique fashion aesthetic. Few artists have had as much influence on the modern look of country western like artist Nikki Lane, whose Highclass Hillbilly pop-up boutique and market has long been a staple at Stagecoach and will be featured at Palomino.
“I can’t seem to do anything without Nikki Lane these days and she’ll be out there performing on stage and curating a vintage market,” Vee says.
Palomino festival will also include specially create culinary items for fans, artwork celebrating Americana and alt-country’s rich culture and appearances by Compton Cowboys horseback riding club.
“It’s going to be a mix of amazing artists and fans who have long supported this music and the community we have all been building together,” Vee said.
General admission passes for Palomino start at $179 + fees, and VIP passes are $399 + fees. Tickets go on sale April 1 at 12 p.m. PST. Click here to register in advance.