As we continue our build-up to this years Country2Country festival we caught up with an artist who will be appearing in both London and Glasgow this year. Taking to the Spotlight stage in the main arena on Saturday before headlining the evenings after party, Michael Ray has now confirmed he will be playing a set on the Sunday as Nashville's famed Bluebird Cafe takes over the O2 Blueroom.
1. What fact should the UK fans know about you? I want my UK fans to know that this is my first time ever playing over there. This will be a new experience for all of us, and I hope they bring all the energy they’re known because I know we’re ready to match it. 2. What is your favourite song to perform live? I love playing my current single “One That Got Away” live for our fans. Even before it was a single, the energy and the excitement that the fans brought every night we played that song is actually what got us thinking ‘Hey, maybe this should our next song at radio.’” I love seeing people sing it back to us.
3. What can we expect from your set? Fans can expect a high energy set full of songs from my latest album Amos, as well as some of my favorites from the first album and a few covers thrown into the set. 4. What encouraged you to want to come play at this year’s Country2Country? I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to bring our music to our fans in the UK, and I’m so excited to finally make my first trip over there to play for everyone. Every artist I’ve talked to about playing the UK have all said the same thing – the fans over there know every word to every song you’ve ever played and they bring an energy that’s indescribable. I’m excited to experience it all for the first time.
Lauren Jenkins C2C Quick Fire Five
It is now less than a month until the biggest weekend of country music in 2019 takes over London's O2 Arena and we have our second Quick Fire Five buildup. This time we have spoken with Festival Stage artist Lauren Jenkins. Over the weekend you will be able to see Lauren perform on the BBC Radio 2 Stage and at the Town Square.
1. What fact should the UK fans know about you? Storytelling has always been my favorite thing in the world.
2. What is your favourite song to perform live? It changes night to night. But lately it’s been “Running Out Of Road.” 3. What can we expect from your set? It will be 100% real and honest… also I’ll probably be drinking whiskey on stage and raise a toast to all of you.
4. What encouraged you to want to come play at this years Country2Country? I’ve been dreaming about playing C2C for several years now. I have so many friends that live in Europe and I’m always inspired every time I visit. I’m SO excited I get to be part of the festival this year!
5. What London sights are on your bucket list to see while here? Hyde Park looks beautiful and seems like the perfect spot to write a new song. I’ve only been to London once for a layover, so I’m taking suggestions of where the locals hang.
Kaylee Bell C2C Quick Fire Five
With the UK's biggest weekend of country music just over a month away, we have caught up with one of the acts that will be making their way to London for Country2Country. Kaylee Bell, from Waimate in New Zealand's South Island, will be performing across the weekend on the Big Entrance Stage and Town Square.
1. What fact should the UK fans know about you? I am a Kiwi. I have been singing country music since I was 4 and am as much a fan as I am an artist of the genre. I won Toyota Star Maker in Australia and have played with Keith Urban (headliner) a few times on his NZ/Aus tours. I have music out on Spotify including my new single 'Keith' released in February.
2. What is your favourite song to perform live? Getting Closer- a song I wrote with Morgan Evans about a real life situation that was the most satisfying song to write and the feedback I get from that song always makes me happy, as people relate!!
3. What can we expect from your set? Looping, original songs, Country Pop!!
4. What encouraged you to want to come play at this years Country2Country? I have seen so much buzz around this festival the lat few years and had major FOMO and wanted to get over to the UK to experience the place, the culture and share my music with more people.
5. What London sights are on your bucket list to see while here? London eye, Buckingham, a musical if I can get to one.....London pub!!!!
LONDON AFTERSHOW ARTISTS ANNOUNCED
C2C 2019’s Official Aftershow Parties will see some of the hottest country talent take to the stage, when indigo at The O2 opens its doors from 10pm on Friday 8, Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 March.
Abby Anderson, named in CMT's Next Women of Country Class of 2018 and ACM Award nominees Runaway June will perform on Friday, while Saturday night belongs to Michael Ray, whose debut single, Kiss You in the Morning, reached No. 1 on Country Airplay. RaeLynn closes the Aftershows on Sunday, having been recently revealed to join C2C alumni Maren Morris on tour, previously opening for Miranda Lambert, Rascal Flatts and Blake Shelton.
Each aftershow will also feature the latest country sounds via Nashville’s DJ “Hish”, who has toured with some of the industries’ leading artists, as well as spinning at country music’s biggest festivals.
Also revealed is the much anticipated line up for the BBC Radio 2 Stage in London, which will see performances from Sam Palladio, Jimmie Allen, RaeLynn, James Barker Band, Travis Denning, Logan Mize and many more over the weekend. Two exciting new artists join the Spotlight Stage line up in London. Adam Hambrick and Michael Ray join the previously announced Catherine McGrath, The Wandering Hearts, Abby Anderson, Caroline Jones, Fairground Saints, Jimmie Allen and Runaway June.
CMA SONGWRITERS SERIES ANNOUNCES C2C PERFORMANCE
The Country Music Association’s critically acclaimed CMA Songwriters Series will return to C2C on 7 March 2019, at indigo at The O2. Hosted by Cam and featuring Jimmie Allen and Ross Copperman, it will also introduce Travis Denning and Laura Veltz to U.K. audiences for the first time. The performance follows October’s successful second annual CMA Songwriters Series tours in Europe and the U.K., while also marking the sixth London appearance for CMA Songwriters Series during C2C.
CMA Songwriters Series introduces new artists and songwriters through its intimate storytelling format. Audiences get to know the performers, their journey and the stories behind their songs throughout the two-hour seated show, as artists take turns performing their songs acoustically. Each CMA Songwriters Series is unique—the one-off performances are unrehearsed, uplifting and heart-warming, leaving audiences feeling closer to the artists and the music.
“The CMA Songwriters Series has developed a reputation for delivering some wonderful magic moments on the eve of C2C each year,” said Milly Olykan, CMA Vice President, International Relations and Development. “We anticipate our next performance will be no different and we’re thrilled to reveal the 2019 line-up. Presenting hit songwriters and introducing new acts to U.K. audiences is so gratifying, with fans in the U.K. being so attentive and open to discovering new country artists.”
Currently in its 14th season, CMA Songwriters Series has presented more than 100 shows including multiple cities across the U.S. and the U.K. as well as Dublin, Belfast, Amsterdam, Berlin, Stockholm, Oslo and Hamburg. Artists and songwriters who have participated in the series internationally include Jessi Alexander, Kristian Bush, Brandy Clark, Chris DeStefano, Natalie Hemby, Shane McAnally, Lori McKenna, Maren Morris, Liz Rose, Drake White, Charlie Worsham, The Striking Matches, Chris Young and more.
Artist information Cam Cam’s eccentric candor is supported in the brazen, bold song, “Diane”, the first single from her forthcoming sophomore release. “Diane” made quite an impact, holding a multi-week residency on Spotify’s Viral 50 USA Chart and peaking at No.1 on the iTunes U.K. Country charts. In addition to performing the song on multiple American television shows, “Diane” was expedited on BBC Radio 2’s A-List in the U.K. This spring, Cam joined Sam Smith on stage for their co-write “Palace” during all four nights of his sold-out shows at The O2 and went on to open for the international superstar on the North American summer leg of his The Thrill of It All Tour. Smith is among the impressive list of artists that Cam has shared the stage with in the last couple years. Others include a personal invite from Harry Styles at Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill on their blockbuster Soul2Soul Tour, George Strait during his 2017 residency at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Eric Church, Alicia Keys, Smokey Robinson and others.
Jimmie Allen Now signed to BBR Music Group’s Stoney Creek Records, Allen’s debut single “Best Shot” is a certified hit, claiming the spot as the No.1 most Shazamed song in the format for eight consecutive weeks, and claimed the No.1 spot on Country radio, marking the first time a black artist has launched a career with a No.1 hit on Country radio. In October, Allen released his hotly-anticipated debut album, Mercury Lane, named in tribute to the street he grew up on. Featuring a cutting-edge mix of Country, rock, R&B, and pop, Mercury Lane draws upon the influence his family and small-town upbringing of the critically-acclaimed rising star.
Ross Copperman Copperman has written upwards of 16 No.1 singles - from Dierks Bentley's “I Hold On,” “Drunk On A Plane,” and “Black” to Brett Eldredge's “Beat of the Music” and “Wanna Be That Song” - revolutionizing the sound of Nashville’s Country Music. He has produced and written songs for a wide range of Country artists including Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Florida Georgia Line, Little Big Town, Chase Rice, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton and Keith Urban. Copperman is a six-time CMA Awards nominee, a two-time BMI Songwriter of the Year (2016 and 2017) and winner of five CMA Triple Play Awards.
Travis Denning Denning started playing local bars at the age of 16 and built a solid following from his distinctive songs and raucous guitar licks. He moved to Nashville in 2014 and within a year signed a publishing deal with Jeremy Stover's RED Creative Group. Denning just released his debut single "David Ashley Parker From Powder Springs": an upbeat coming-of-age song that paints a picture of a young man reminiscing on his carefree college memories. The singer/songwriter has previously opened shows for Cole Swindell, Alan Jackson, Moore and Rice and is set to hit the road with LANCO on the "Hallelujah Nights" tour this fall.
Laura Veltz Veltz has garnered cuts and hits by Country’s newest and hottest superstars alike, becoming one of today’s most respected songsmiths. Her list of hits and placements continues to grow daily including the chart toppers “I Could Use A Love Song” by Maren Morris, “Drunk Last Night” by Eli Young Band, and “Lonely Eyes” by Chris Young. Veltz has also co-written songs from the latest albums by Dierks Bentley (“One Way”), Kane Brown (“Live Forever”), Brothers Osborne (“Weed, Whiskey, and Willie”) and Little Big Town (“We Went To The Beach”). Her songs have also been recorded by such artists as Devin Dawson, Maddie & Tae, Carly Pearce, Cassadee Pope and the Queen of Country Music herself, Reba McEntire.
2019 Line up Announcement
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.
After another hugely successful festival this year with headliners; Faith Hill & Tim McGraw, Kacey Musgraves and Little Big Town,C2C is delighted to announce that it will return for a seventh year on 8 - 10 March 2019. The festival will bringthree days of the best in country music and programming that fanshave come to love and expectfrom the weekend, withperformances from the world’sbest country stars as well as emerging talent fromNashville, UK and Europe.
The full line-up will be announced later in the year along with further news from the festival.
C2C 2018welcomed over 50,000 fans, who enjoyed music from artists including; Kelsea Ballerini, Sugarland, Emmylou Harris, Margo Price, Old Dominion and more; as well as programming from the Festival Stages, BBC Radio 2 Stage, Late Night Stage,CMA Screenings, The Bluebird Cafe and the newly introduced C2C Close Up.
True country music is honesty, sincerity, and real life to the hilt. Garth Brooks