That time of year is almost upon us once again! So now the official C2C app has been updated with all the stages and all the timings let's take a closer look at the stars on the pop-ups and let's get to planning!
Friday is a nice easy day... savour this relaxed state you find yourself in, meandering between stages catching all the acts you want to see as Saturday and Sunday get a whole lot busier and instead of meandering you'll be dashing about like a headless chicken trying to fit everyone in! Here is the app view of the BBC Radio 2 stage (definitely get the app as it updates all through the weekend with artist signings and performances etc).
So we have just three acts on the BBC Radio 2 Stage on the Friday Afternoon but three fantastic acts! The Wandering Hearts signed to Decca have had a good year since they last played C2C. Their debut album came out not too long ago and they almost completely sold out their first headline tour. If you're unfamiliar with their music check out their song Devil. Morgan Evans follows, he's such a lovely guy and married to another C2C star - Kelsea Ballerini. I interviewed the young Australian back at Buckle and Boots last year for Chris Country Radio be sure to check that out on our interview page of the website. If you're unfamiliar with Morgan's music then be sure to check out Kiss Somebody. Last but not least on the radio 2 stage is High Valley. The Canadian brothers single She's With Me entered the top 15 of the Country Airplay charts last year and tallied over 23 million streams. It was the standout track from their major label debut Dear Life released last year. They are also playing the C2C Roadshows so be sure to check if they're performing in a city near you!
Meanwhile on the Big Entrance stage, British based Jeannine Barry will be opening the show. Jeannine has done quite well for herself on the UK Country scene, regularly touring and playing festivals. Clara Bond follows, someone I have not yet had the pleasure of seeing myself yet but have heard lots of great things about! She is followed by Holloway Road, another UK band, I love these guys they are so full of energy, be sure to try and catch one of their live sets over the weekend as they really do get you up on your feet! They are followed by The Grahams. They have quite the story of exploration and draw inspiration from the characters they meet on their travels, I think they are actually going to be one of the most talked about of the pop-up stage acts post C2C! The Big Entrance stage concludes with Liv Austen a girl who I've known for a good few years now who keeps going from strength to strength, not only is she a talented singer with good melodic hooks in her songs but she's also one of the most likeable acts in the UK scene.
So if you're not already torn of how to start your Friday off - The Wandering Hearts or Jeannine Barry, you now have the Town Square stage thrown in the mix and kicking that off is The Adelaides. They are a fantastic UK Country Pop trio who have been talked about a lot this year. They closed out 2017 supporting Megan McKenna on her UK tour and 2018 is set to be another big year for the trio. They are followed by Danielle Bradberry, who is not to be missed! She gained fame by succeeding on The Voice in America at just 15 years old, now at 21 and signed to Big Machine Danielle is set to take the Country music World by storm! Mo Pitney is up next. He's recently toured the UK and again he is one of the ones to watch in Country music, within a couple of years he'll be a household name within the genre. Check out his song Clean Up On Aisle Five. Finally we have Delta Rae closing the Town Square stage on Friday. Again they are rising stars under Scott Borchetta's wing and their song No Peace In Quiet is just beautiful!
Saturday begins early at 10.30 (it will feel very early after the night before!) And there are more stages on the Saturday and Sunday. Opening the radio 2 stage is Levi Hummon son of hit songwriter Marcus Hummon who wrote such hits as God Bless The Broken Road by Rascal Flatts and his son is certainly following in his footsteps! Seeing the pair together last year at the C2C Announcement was something special so you must see him at this years C2C! Delta Rae are up next so here you have a second chance to see them. Bare in mind that the Indigo is quite big but I anticipate it being packed out all day everyday, so plan ahead for this stage. Ashley McBryde follows, and although she is performing on the Satellite stage, it will be lovely to see her in a more intimate setting. If you're not familiar with her music check out the article I wrote about the Arena acts where I talk about Ashley in more detail. Another familiar name who will also play in the main arena is Walker Hayes who plays after Ashley at 1pm. Then we have Danielle Bradberry - a second chance to see her and Lanco take to the stage at 2.40pm. Of course Lanco have been announced to play the Late Night stage and have just released a cracking debut album that went to number 1! The radio 2 stage concludes with Lindsay Ell.
Kicking off Saturday on the Town Square stage is one of Britons best and that's Katy Hurt. If you didn't manage to catch Katy Hurt performing on her headline tour at the end of last year with The Healers then make sure you don't miss her at C2C. If you check out our homepage then you'll see she has a pledge campaign running at the moment. Katy is followed by Stephanie Quayle. There has been a lot of anticipation around her performing at C2C on social media. She's a great storyteller, that is at the heart of her music. Ryan Hurd will take to the stage at 11.50, Hurd who is engaged to Maren Morris, is a solo artist but he's also written some massive songs, such as Lonely Tonight which was a number 1 for Blake Shelton and Ashley Monroe, You Look Good by Lady Antebellum and Last Turn Home by Tim McGraw. Then we have a second chance to see The Wandering Hearts followed by label mate Una Healy from The Saturdays who last year caused quite a lot of queues as so many people tried to get into All Bar One to see her. Then we have another chance to see Levi Hummon followed by a great US duo American Young who wowed audiences at Buckle and Boots last year with their level of musicianship. Then we have two slots which will be unveiled on the day... I'm anticipating The Shires being announced for one of these slots.
Now there is a slight air of mystery to the C2C Close Up Stage which starts at 11 in Building Six. We believe there are intimate performances from British and Irish acts, it says on the information we have that they look into their back stories so perhaps a little Q&A or a Writers Round set-up or both? Either way we have Andy Brown - an interesting one to look into especially if you're seeing The Shires on tour this year as he is supporting them! Then we have Catherine McGrath who has had a fantastic year! The festival and tour support slots she has bagged including supporting Dan and Shay have garnered lots of praise and attention. Her album comes out in Summer. Completing the Saturday Close Up line up is Twinnie. She has been doing a lot of writing recently with some top writers since getting a publishing deal with Universal. All in all I think this will be a great event and something new added to the line up.
In All Bar One we have the CMW Hub and last year there was a great industry panel which is how we kick off the weekend this year as well. Then we have another chance of seeing Danielle Bradberry. She is followed by Ashley Campbell - such a talented lady like her Dad, be sure to check out the interview we did with her at Summertyne Festival last year. The we have Russell Dickerson who of course has been climbing up the Country charts with his single Yours which is a beautiful song. We then have yet another chance to see Ashley McBryde. And at 4pm we have another "to be announced on the day."
The Big Entrance stage begins with Peter Donegan the son of Lonnie Donegan. I'm looking forward to seeing him perform, some of his high profile fans include Crystal Gayle and Billy Bragg. Second on the line up is Kerri Watt. Kerri has had quite the career so far with TV appearances on STV, ITV and BBC. She has played festivals including Glastonbury and is working with hit writers such as Jeff Cohen (Postcard From Paris) and Kevin Kadish (All About That Bass). She is followed by Fayre, a duo who regularly busk in London, they have received lots of radio play from BBC Radio 2, Radio London and Chris Country. Then we have two fairly unknown acts to myself, Liz McClarnon and Keywest. Liz has a similar route in to the scene as Una Healy as she used to be in girl group Atomic Kitten. She has worked with some of the best in the Industry across different genres and has a record coming out later this year. Keywest are an interesting group, they don't describe themselves as Country at all, again they began their career busking in Ireland and are now one of Irelands most successful independent acts. Then we have a surprise followed by UK act Jake Morrell. The stage finishes off with Liv Austen, The Adelaides and The Grahams.
Meanwhile in the Water margin the day begins with a surprise performance then another new one to us is Lost Hollow - researching them we realise we're in for a treat! Tommy one half of the duo is a multi-instrumentalist session musician who has played with everyone including Taylor Swift, he has toured with Reba McEntire as her drummer and has performed at The White House for three presidents. His wife (and other half of the duo) is a Nashville studio session vocalist and published songwriter. Together they are going to be a formidable duo and I can't wait to hear them! They are followed by Clara Bond, Peter Donegan, Holloway Road, Keywest and Jeannine Barry.
On the Busking stage we have Fayre kicking off the day. They are followed by duo Days Are Done who have had success on Radio both here and in the States as well as having clocked up over 180 gigs last year, they have recorded a live EP and studio EP and have performed at festivals such as Glastonbury. Then we have another opportunity to see Jeannine Barry followed by O & O who have a not too dissimilar sound to The Civil Wars. Then we have Clara Bond once again and that stage finishes early with Sammie Jay who has always played music from a young age. British born Sammie played young Cosette in Les Mis in the West End. She took Tennessee by storm as well as LA and now enjoys busking in London on the Southbank.
So Sunday, I know you'll be feeling tired but we've got a jam packed day of Country music to get through! Kicking off the Radio 2 stage is Catherine McGrath followed by Mo Pitney - he's such a talented guy I'm glad we have an opportunity to see him again! Then we have Russell Dickerson and Ashley Campbell followed by Ryan Hird and the stage closes with Jillian Jacqueline. You can read about all of them on our main C2C article!
The Town Square Stage kicks off on the Sunday with Keywest, followed by Twinnie. We have no new acts on here on the Sunday although there is a surprise to be unveiled on the day again. We have Andy Brown, Stephanie Quayle, Levi Hummon, Ryan Kinder and Lanco.
C2C Close up returns on Sunday beginning at 10.30. On the lineup for that is Katy Hurt, Liv Austen, Una Healy and Jake Morrell.
The day begins with another industry panel at All Bar One before we hear again from Ryan Kinder and Lindsay Ell. Then, one of the most talked about Satellite stage artists, Lukas Nelson will perform in the much more intimate setting of All Bar One - that is going to be packed out - get there early! Ryan Hurd brings that stage to a close.
We have a few new names on the Big Entrance stage including Ferris and Sylvester and Elles Bailey. Elles Bailey is a fairly fresh face on the scene but she has garnered some great reviews over here from the likes of Maverick Magazine. She recorded her EP at the World famous Blackbird Studios in Nashville and it went to number 2 in the iTunes Blues charts. There is another chance to see Lost Hollow and The Adelaides again.
Again it's the last day so we're starting to see some repeat performances which is never a bad thing as you can guarantee you will miss some of your favourites so it gives you another chance to see them! In the Water Margin we have Kerri Watt, Fayre, Holloway Road and Peter Donegan.
And here is the Busking Stage line up for the final day! So all in all we have some superb acts from all over the World! And don't forget we have the bluebird stage as well if you've got tickets to that keep your eyes peeled for an article on those writers!