Country to Country; Europe's biggest country music festival is back at The O2 for its seventh year from Friday 8 to Sunday 10 March 2019, with yet another incredible line up from the C2C team. The festival also returns to the 3Arena Dublin and SSE Hydro in Glasgow.

 

With his first show in the UK for over ten years, a major coup for C2C, the celebrated four-time Grammy (™) Award winner, chart record breaker and international superstar Keith Urban will play C2C for the first time ever, while one of Nashville’s most revered and hugely acclaimed musician’s Chris Stapleton makes his much-anticipated return to the festival in a headline spot. Superstar trio and award-winning fan favourites Lady Antebellum also return as headliners, following their hugely popular show at The O2 last year.

 

Keith Urban said: “I'm totally psyched to be getting back to the UK to play some shows. The last time we were there was a blast- and with the music I’ve made since then and the new album we’re gonna get to play to a lot of new people. Can’t wait!!!!!”

 

Joining the headliners are more acclaimed artists, with many heading to the main stage for the very first time. Cam, Hunter Hayes, Ashley McBryde and Drake White & The Big Fire all return, while Brett Eldredge, Chase Rice, Dustin Lynch, Carly Pearce and Lyle Lovett make their C2C arena debuts. The C2C Spotlight Stage will return in the arena, with performers to be announced.

 

Country to Country has become a staple in the UK festival calendar and has brought country music to the UK and Ireland masses, with tens of thousands of fans attending each year. The festival continuously hosts the best in country music and entertainment; bringing over the world’s best country stars as well as emerging talent from Nashville, UK and Europe.

 

The legendary Bob Harris announced the highly anticipated C2C 2019 line-up at the official launch party at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, during the second annual Country Music Week in London. He said: “I am so proud to have been involved with C2C from the beginning and to watch it grow to become one of the major global events in the country music calendar. I’m thrilled to once again be introducing all the amazing artists on the main stage and enjoying the fantastic atmosphere of C2C at The O2, London.”

 

Chris York, C2C Festival promoter for SJM Concerts commented: “C2C Festival 2019 continues to build on the massive success of Country to Country in the U.K. and Ireland. We are proud to present one of our strongest lineups and look forward to seeing all you passionate country fans in March once again.  We would like to thank our partners at BBC Radio 2 and The Country Music Association and as ever thank you for your support.”

 

CMA’s Sarah Trahern said: “Since the beginning, C2C has been instrumental in growing the country fan base in the UK. The festival has helped develop superstars and also introduced hot new acts to legions of UK fans. CMA is delighted to be back here for our seventh year in partnership with the festival to continue to support great country music and our passionate UK fan base.”

KEITH URBAN

GRAMMY (™) Award winner Keith Urban’s reputation as a premier songwriter, vocalist, performer, musician and virtuoso guitarist has seen him sell millions of albums and make chart history all over the world. He’s won four trophies each for the GRAMMYS (™), the American Music Awards, the People’s Choice Awards, twelve Country Music Awards and has been nominated for a Golden Globe.  He’s also topped the all-genre charts in the U.S., Canada and Australia twice and is the only male Country artist to have achieved this position even once.  Urban’s ninth studio album GRAFFITI U, was released earlier this year and proceeded his “GRAFFITI U WORLD TOUR 2018” which will play in seven countries on three continents.  He is also a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

 

CHRIS STAPLETON 

Kentucky-born Chris Stapleton is a multiple Grammy (™), CMA and ACM Award-winner and one of Nashville's most respected and beloved musicians. Following his triple platinum breakthrough solo debut album Traveller, Stapleton released two No. 1 albums last year. Both From A Room: Volume 1 (certified platinum) and From A Room: Volume 2 (certified gold) take their name from legendary RCA Studio A, where they were recorded with Grammy (™)  Award winning producer, Dave Cobb. Released to overwhelming praise, the albums were featured on "Best of 2017" lists at Rolling Stone, Variety, Stereogum and The Tennessean who praised, "Both are rich with the textures of Stapleton’s vocals that make him one of country music’s most beloved artists, classic country sounds and thoughtful articulate lyrics about love, life and pain.” Stapleton was recently awarded Best Country Album (From A Room: Volume 1), Best Country Song (“Broken Halos”) and Best Country Solo Performance (“Either Way”) at the 60th GRAMMY (™) Awards, Album of the Year (From A Room: Volume 1) and Male Vocalist of the Year at The 51st Annual CMA Awards and Male Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year (From A Room: Volume 1 as both artist and producer) at the 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards.

 

LADY ANTEBELLUM

Lady Antebellum has amassed record-breaking success over the course of their career, ushering in more than 18 million album units and 34 million tracks sold, with over two billion digital streams. In addition to critical acclaim, the trio has nine No. 1 hits to their name including the 9x platinum hit “Need You Now,” which is the highest certified song by a Country group. In addition to their success as a band, Charles Kelley, Dave Haywood and Hillary Scott have written No. One hits recorded by artists including Luke Bryan, Darius Rucker and Sara Evans. The trio has earned ACM and CMA "Vocal Group of the Year” trophies three years in a row and countless other honours including seven GRAMMY (™) awards. Known for taking their headlining run worldwide, Lady Antebellum recently wrapped their Summer Plays On Tour after hosting capacity crowds at venues and amphitheaters across the USA. The trio recently signed with BMLG records.

 

BRETT ELDRIDGE

Platinum-selling singer/songwriter Brett Eldredge is from Paris, Illinois and has enjoyed seven US chart-topping singles, including 2014’s most played country song of the year, “Beat Of The Music.” He recently released his brand new single “Love Someone” from his self-titled record, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart and the all-genre Top Album Sales chart.  The album has yielded the Gold-certified hits “Somethin’ I’m Good At” and most recently “The Long Way”.  Billboard magazine praised Brett and “The Long Way” single saying, “he’s a king at writing lyrics that make you melt.”  This song lends its name to his critically acclaimed and first ever sold-out headlining tour, which continues in America this autumn.  

 

HUNTER HAYES

Hailed as a "force to be reckoned with" by the Huffington Post, multi-platinum selling recording artist Hunter Hayes has accumulated over 40 award nominations and wins, including five Grammy nominations, a People’s Choice Favourite Male Country Artist award and a CMA New Artist of the Year award. His most recent releases include the unflinchingly honest and introspective “Dear God” followed by the radically unfiltered “One Shot.” Both have earned a multitude of critical acclaim from outlets including Rolling Stone, Billboard, Paste and more. The Louisiana-native recently celebrated the 100 millionth Spotify stream of his 5x multi-platinum single, “Wanted,” which received a Grammy (™) nomination for Best Country Solo Performance in 2013. Featured on his 2x multi-platinum debut album Hunter Hayes, the smash hit became his first No. 1 single on the country airplay charts and solidified the multi-instrumentalist as the youngest solo male artist to top Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart in over 40 years.

 

LYLE LOVETT

A singer, composer and actor, Lyle Lovett has broadened the definition of American music in a career that spans 14 albums. Coupled with his gift for storytelling, the Texas-based musician fuses elements of country, swing, jazz, folk, gospel and blues in a convention-defying manner that breaks down barriers. Lovett’s live performances show not only the breadth of this Texas legend’s deep talents, but also the diversity of his influences, making him one of the most compelling and captivating musicians in popular music.  Since his self-titled debut in 1986, Lyle Lovett has evolved into one of music’s most vibrant and iconic performers. Among his many accolades, besides the four Grammy (™) Awards, he was given the Americana Music Association’s inaugural Trailblazer Award, and was named Texas State Musician.

 

CAM

Cam was born and raised in California.  She first had success as a songwriter, then signed to Sony as a recording artist and her second single was the emotional ballad, ‘Burning House’, which she co-wrote and which topped the US country chart with over 2 million sales, Double Platinum status, and over 1 billion in radio airplay audience in the US. It also earned Cam her first Grammy (™) nomination, for Best Country Solo performance. She is currently in the process of writing and recording her second studio album, which will include lead single ‘Diane’, Cam’s response to Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’, told from the perspective of “The Other Woman.” Cam has toured with some of the biggest names in country music including opening for George Strait’s Las Vegas residency. She has also opened for pop megastars Sam Smith and Harry Styles on their US dates.

 

DUSTIN LYNCH

Since releasing his PLATINUM-certified debut single, “Cowboys and Angels,” Lynch has "steadily built one of the most consistent recording careers in modern country music” (Billboard) with five consecutive #1s, three Top 5 albums, PLATINUM-level certifications and tours with the genre’s biggest names (Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, and Brad Paisley). Racking up over 232 million views on YouTube/VEVO, scoring 743 million-plus audio streams, soaring to #1 on the MTV Music Meter, and selling 4.5 million digital tracks, the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry brings a fresh combination of traditional influence and edgy intensity to the genre. Lynch’s “sexy” (CMT), “intoxicating” (Taste of Country) third studio album, CURRENT MOOD, debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart in Fall 2017. With accolades rolling in – including Billboard Music Awards, iHeartRadio Music Awards, and CMT Music Awards nominations – Lynch made his mark with high–profile appearances on CMA Fest, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, ACM Awards, Good Morning America, TODAY, and many more.

 

ASHLEY MCBRYDE

Ashley McBryde caught the attention of some of Nashville’s most raucous entertainers, landing her dates opening for Eric Church, Chris Stapleton, and, most recently, Miranda Lambert and Luke Combs. The Washington Post raved, "McBryde's blue-collar storytelling and straightforward singing set her apart," including a set during her debut on the Grand Ole Opry stage, notably sharing "Girl Goin' Nowhere," the seminal title track from her  Jay Joyce-produced LP for Atlantic Records/Warner Nashville. Girl Going Nowhere which was the biggest debut by a solo country artist this year and earned the Arkansas native critical acclaim from The New York Times which described her as, “an alluringly flexible singer, fluent in classic country, blues and Southern rock, with a voice that moves easily from tender to tough,” and more. McBryde was recently in the UK and appeared on BBC TV Breakfast and Later With Jools Holland.  

 

CHASE RICE 

Country music maverick Chase Rice has become one of country music’s most exciting figures since arriving in Nashville, building a loyal fan base with energetic live shows and gaining the attention of music critics and industry professionals alike with his edgy, eclectic sound. The North Carolina native has also had songwriting success with mega-hit "Cruise," recorded by Florida Georgia Line. He recently released his sophomore album, Lambs & Lions, and the first single, “Three Chords & The Truth,” was a Top 20 hit and the follow-up, “Eyes On You,” is already a major hit with fans who streamed it over 50 million times before even learning it would be the next single! Rice’s debut album Ignite the Night debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums and No. 3 on the all-genre chart, and produced a pair of Top 5 hits, the Platinum-certified "Ready Set Roll" and “Gonna Wanna Tonight.” He has toured with Kenny Chesney and Luke Bryan.  He is currently on tour in the UK.

 

CARLY PEARCE

Born in the bluegrass state of Kentucky, Carly Pearce has never known a moment that Country Music wasn’t her destined path. At the young age of 11 she began touring with a local band and then at 16 quit high school for a job performing at Dollywood (while being home schooled)  The title track of her debut album Every Little Thing topped the charts and more hits have followed, including “Hide The Wine” and “If My Name Was Whiskey”.  Carly became the highest charting solo female debut act since July 2015 and has been showered with praise and awards for her music, textured vocals and emotive songwriting.  People magazine deemed her “the new voice of country” and she has been on four major tours in recent months with Blake Shelton, Thomas Rhett, Rascal Flatts and Luke Bryan.

 

DRAKE WHITE & THE BIG FIRE

The critically acclaimed Drake White (one of the “break-out” artists at C2C 2017) has been called, "One of the country's most energizing performers”, by Rolling Stone Country.  The rapidly rising star along with his band the Big Fire -Adam Schwind (Drums), Philip Pence (Bass), Jabe Beyer (Guitar), and Jon Aanestad (Fiddle) have graced many a stage in the UK and also toured as an opening act for established country artists such as Kip Moore and Zac Brown Band. The foot-stomping singer/songwriter and nature enthusiast released his debut album Sparks in 2016 with recent EP Pieces released earlier this year.

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REVIEWS

The next stage in the Morganway masterplan started with 2 sets at C2C. Not necessarily a typical C2C band it was always going to be interesting to see how they fared, needless to say they just smashed it out of the park. Gathering more fans as they went. from the opening chords of "Devils Canyon", they put on a show  designed to impress. As ever driven by a thumping backbeat and SJ Mortimer's untameable vocals, this was a big...

The ICON stage was to prove a vast improvement on last years Busking Stage or indeed the Water Margin stage both of which disappeared this year.  It offered pretty good views for a large number of people the only possible problem seemed to be would people make the journey up the escalators to find it. Fortunately the answer was a resounding yes and the first person to test this out was Kiwi Country star Kaylee Bell.

Kaylee obvi...

The unenviable job of kicking off the Big Entrance stage at 10:30, fell to Holly Rose Webber, who firmly put the Country back into C2C. This was a first sight of Holly Rose for us as she is more often to be found playing in and around Harrogate but pre festival research suggested that she would be one to watch. With the stage packed with 8 people, things commenced with "Heartbreaker", a glorious piece of classic country with t...

Just occasionally in life you come across something so good that it literally stops you in your tracks - such a moment occurred on the Saturday of C2C. #TEAMw21 have covered Kerri Watt numerous times since we first saw her supporting Ward Thomas many moons ago. She's always been a very strong singer songwriter and when on stage mainly static due to the fact that she is normally playing guitar, so two things immediately caught...

The perils of the quick turnover on the Big Entrance stage were best exemplified by Megan O'Neill, all sat and ready to kick off her set with "The Ghost Of You" but no working piano. In the end with the piano ditched for the time being, it ended up with "What Are We Waiting For?" being the opening song with Megan gently strumming her guitar instead.  It was a case of second time lucky as she sat at the keyboard again and it al...

 Sunday morning at the Indigo and the crowd was heavily predicated towards sitting in the balcony rather than standing on the ground floor, with two full on days starting to take their toll. Having said that, there were still a few hardy souls sipping on an early morning pint at the front and it was the 10:30 slot that Twinnie had drawn to kick start the day into life,

Taking to the stage in animal print trousers and a top tha...

 With the sound of Jake Morell wafting its way from the Big Entrance stage, it was time for Mollie-Anne to take to the ICON stage.  One of the acts we had been most looking forward to at C2C based on our pre festival research, with her song "In Your Dreams" ( sadly not played today ) proving a particular favourite

With a Double Bass player and her Dad on Cajon she announced herself with an "Alright London" before starting...

Saturday night and there was only one place to be and that was the Saloon Bar. :Lainey Wilson may have only made fleeting appearances during Country Music Week in October last year but the impression that she made in those shows was immense along with her excellent "Workin' Overtime" mini album .

For the Saloon at Night shows the chairs in front of the stage are cleared away and the room takes on the feel of a hot sweaty club....

Another year for the Bluebird Cafe at C2C, and another new home, this time in the O2 Blue Room. Somewhere along the line there had been a bit of a miscalculation of how many people would be attending this event or at least quite what would happen if they all turned up early. As the queue snaked ever further out into main entrance the bizarre answer reached was to have parallel queues which turned into a bit of a shambles to be...

For those not attending, the Country Music Week Hub was the second floor of All Bar One, , a slightly odd space with lots of heavily used leather sofas against the walls, and during the day additional temporary seating placed in rows in front of the stage. To the right of the stage is another section containing the bar and to the back of the room some limited standing space. It is the base for the Country Music Week Hub, where...

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