I’m beginning to find it hard to contain my excitement as the coolest (and largest), American country-music filled weekend in the whole of the UK’s country calendar is almost upon us.
We have found ourselves spoiled for choice over the last few years as more and more festivals have burst into life, feeding on the rising popularity of the country music & roots scene here in the United Kingdom. FSA Fest, Buckle & Boots, Ramblin’ Roots Revue & the brand new Black Deer Festival, all promise to keep our thirst for Country, Americana & roots-inspired music at bay during the year, and for the lovers of more traditional Country & Western there is a whole host of smaller festivals dotted around the UK to please the most diverse to staunchly traditional fan.
However, C2C is THE biggie; the festival that aims to attract the biggest American stars, household names and staples of the scene in the US. Throw in a few of the hottest tipped newcomers and a whole smattering of staggeringly sublime surprises, stir it all up together and you get the BEST musical weekend of the year. Well, I think so anyway!
So, I don’t need to remind you of the line-up – it’s all there on the C2C homepage for everyone to check out, but who am I excited to see most of all?
I’d be lying if I said that this is the best line up out of all the C2C festivals I’ve seen. I’ve been lucky enough to be at 5 out of the 6 years that this festival has been running, and have run through quite a few names on my bucket list.
However, the organisers are cleverly versed at the art of putting on a festival which features a well-balanced mix of artists that encompass all arms of the country genre. Granted, a lot of these acts have been over to the UK quite recently, but that doesn’t mean I’m not happy to see them again. So, I’m really looking forward to seeing Old Dominion, Kelsea Ballerini, Little Big Town & Ashley Campbell for a second time. I know a lot of people struggled with the news that Kacey Musgraves would be a headliner but I really enjoyed her set last time. With a new album on the way, that fantastic sassy attitude, clever lyrics, great melodies and, let’s face it, a body and face that would look stunning in a potato sack – I’m already relishing the electric performance & spectacular costumes that I am assured will have the audience eating out of her hand.
I’m tempted to say I’m excited about every single artist and band on this line up – that’s how immersed in the music I find myself these days. I just can’t get enough! In the words of rock gods Bon Jovi “there ain’t no doctor that can cure my disease.” However, the whole point of this piece is to say what am I excited about. So, here goes……
…. Luke Combs, Kip Moore & Midland (I mean who in their right mind isn’t nearly busting a blood vessel at the thought of seeing these 3 perform?), Lukas Nelson (with bells on), Ashley McBryde (with more bells on!), Lindsey Ell & the recently reformed and magnificent SUGARLAND *insert lots of love heart eyes emoji’s here as applicable* CMA Songwriters Series, and of course last but by no means least, the inimitable legend that is Emmylou Harris.
And that’s just the artists! The atmosphere of the weekend, pop-up stages, Radio 2 stage, Bluebird cafe, after-show parties where I realise I do actually dance like my mum now but couldn’t care less after all the alcohol I’ve consumed, town square shopping, food & cocktails (although I miss the airstream cocktail van of past years).
I’m really excited about staying closer than I’ve ever stayed to the O2 Arena before, meaning no cabs, trains or sore feet, longer lay ins and maybe (by the luck of the Irish) a chance to snatch a dip in the pool with a sexily principled, tanned and toned, surf loving Country boy, although Bob Harris will do – I’d love a chat with Uncle Bob too!!
So, I’ve excitedly started my C2C London countdown, chomping on the bit to get the app on my smartphone so I can start planning my weekend (if only my life was organised half as well, ha-ha!). Outfits are being lovingly assembled and my suitcase is sitting in the corner of the room, willing me to fill it with plenty of Jack Daniels, ‘My Country Room’ custom bunting, grow your own cowboys and an inflatable cactus – just like last year!.
Oh, what fun we’ll have – see you all there!
TC Caroline x