While I was anxiously spamming the refresh button this morning, just praying that 2018’s Country 2 Country festival tickets may just go on sale a whole minute earlier than scheduled, a small thought overcrowded me: “I was about to drop a lot of money on 2 tickets for a festival that nobody knows the line up for”.
That’s a big risk, what If, In the unlikely event that I don’t like the acts that will be announced? But at the same time, what happens if I wait for the acts to be announced and they turn out to be the best it’s ever been and I can’t get tickets (at a reasonable, not marked up price) anymore? So I proceeded to drop a lot of my hard earned cash on an event that may not even happen. This is what has prompted me to write this, the C2C organisers have publically stated that they want us, the festival goers to suggest names and to show the artists that there is a real demand for them to come over and perform in front of the most devoted music fans I have ever had the pleasure of sharing a room with.
I do want to say that this is truly opinion based. I can’t stress that enough, that’s one of the many wonders of music, there’s so many variants and so many tastes; that being said, I have compiled a shortlist of artists whom I feel cover many different aspects of the Country sphere and will hopefully please most. As always, I encourage you all to use the comments section to tell me if I’m wrong or If you agree with me, I look forward to reading your ideas.
Let’s start with a couple of artists that I would like to see grace the Yamaha stage:
Lauren Alaina – The former American Idol contestant now singer/songwriter is on the rise and could be a great choice. Extremely talented and enthusiastic, it could be a great opportunity to spread her talents to UK fans who may not yet know who she is, or what she’s about.
Runaway June – Heavily Inspired by the Dixie Chicks, Runaway June are an all female trio with effortless harmonies, rootsy strings and stories to tell. Making strides, across the pond I would love to be able to see ladies perform across the UK.
This is where it starts to get a little trickier for me, there are so many artists I could pick to make an appearance on the main stage; but It’s trying to find a balance of names that aren’t huge enough as to not interfere with each night’s closing act, but are established enough to deserve their place:
Scotty McCreery – McCreery may not have released a single since mid 2015, but in an interview with ‘Nash Country Daily’, the former American idol winner has stated that 2017 is going to be a huge year for him with new music under a new label. With a deep southern voice, I feel McCreery could be the perfect choice to open one of the 3 nights.
Kane Brown – Credited with one of the fastest selling debut albums of 2016, Brown may not be to the taste of the traditional country fan but I believe he has every right to appear on the main stage. Following a meteoric rise in popularity by posting covers of some of country’s finest on YouTube; Brown signed to RCA Nashville in 2016. With music closer to the stylings of Sam Hunt and Florida Georgia Line, Kane Brown again In my opinion be a great choice to hype up the building before setting the next artist up.
Cassadee Pope – Pope may have only just left the UK following an incredible set on the smaller Yamaha Stage but I feel she’s deserving of a main stage set; similar to how Maren Morris performed the smaller stage last year and nailed it on the main stage a year later. With a number one country album and an ever growing catalogue of hit songs combined with powerful vocals; Pope would be a fantastic choice for the main stage and I truly hope I get to see her perform next March.
Moving on to the headliners I feel like there’s no end to the talent I could list; but I have to limit it to three unfortunately, so here are my choices:
Alison Krauss – Krauss has compiled 27 Grammy Awards and 9 CMA awards amongst many others so far in her career, and I say so far because her latest album ‘Windy City’ is probably going to earn her many more. I’m not sure I could name an artist with a more beautiful voice, and I’m sure I speak for many when I say I would love to see her perform in front of 20,000 mesmerized people in a packed out O2 arena.
Chris Stapleton – The last time I saw Stapleton perform I was stunned, as were most people within the Arena. Performing at the festival in 2016 he left so many people wanting more. With his distinct and powerful voice, he easily could have closed the O2 after his set and many would have felt satisfied with what they just saw and heard. I still get chills to this day whenever I hear his music and I would love to see this man send 20,000 fans home only saying the word “wow” until they wake up the next day.
Tim McGraw – What can I say about Tim McGraw that you don’t already know. One of the biggest names in country music (possibly ever), Tim McGraw would sell out the O2 Arena all by himself. With decades of number one singles, country classics and crossover hits; McGraw offers something for everybody while having the stage presence and wow factor that some artists could only dream of achieving. For me, and Feelin’ Country’s other content creator Rich, Tim McGraw would be the go to name for next years festival and I truly believe many, many people would agree with us.
There you have it, that is just a few of the names I would love to see perform at next year’s Country 2 Country festivals across England, Scotland and Ireland. There are few more names in my notes that I could have thrown into the list bur for brevity’s sake I left them out but if you’re interested here’s a quick list:
Please do remember that this is purely based on my opinion and therefore will likely be different to yours so if you do feel differently, please do comment with who you would like to see at next year’s festival and maybe some reasons why? I look forward to what y’all have to say.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and as always keep Feelin’ Country!
© Feelin’ Country 2017