Last year a number of fantastic new Country festivals popped up around the UK and the fans turned out in full force to support them. One of the most successful of these festivals was The Long Road held at Stanford Hall in Leicestershire. This years festival will take place in just a couple of days and here is what we recommend you see and do whilst you’re there! Remember a festival is about more than just the music, it’s the atmosphere as well so we’ve got some top tips when it comes to what to eat, what to drink, activities on offer as well as which artists are a must see!
So lets start from when you first arrive, throw your tent up... yes as simple as that and don’t forget to mark your guy ropes with glow sticks each evening, that way nobody falls over them and you don’t end up wearing your tent on the second day! Sticking with the camp ground, don’t pitch on a hill and take a onesie as it’s going to get chilly at night! So once you’ve left the campsite and entered the arena go and explore, or go and get a drink then explore. There are five stages so you’re going to want to familiarise yourself with where they are and how long it takes to run between them. But whilst you’re exploring why not check out a few activities? Like Axe Throwing... yes if you fancy this I’m advising you to do it as soon as you arrive, you know, before you’ve had a drink! If you’ve got kids, maybe stop by Lil Possum County before hitting the bars as well. In fact why does it just have to be kids? I want to make a scarecrow and build a den! There’s also sporty activities which involve water balloons and sack races.
So once you’ve thrown an axe or two and you’re still not sure you’ve got rid of that weeks worth of work stress why not stop by the hot tubs? You may need to pre-book these as I anticipate them being popular over the weekend but if you get there early you might be ok. So what’s to eat and drink, well you’ve got quite a selection on the food front, last year I enjoyed y favourite food Mac n Cheese from two separate vendors well at least one of them is back again this year! There is also catering for vegans and Gluten Free dinners and typical festival food like hot dogs and burgers are being served. There’s also some sweet treats on offer, I’m sure I saw deep fried mars bars which is definitely worth a try, churros are being served and there’s a healthy option - fruit. Moving on to the drink, there’s only one bar you need to visit and that’s the Southern Quarter which serves Southern Comfort. There was a bar like this at Country 2 Country and I can tell you from experience they don’t really do measurements, which is great!
So onto the main attraction, the music! I think the must see act of the weekend is Josh Turner who’s headlining Sunday night, I believe it’s his first trip to the U.K. though he plays Manchester the night before. I saw him at the Opry, he’s quite a charmer on stage and his deep voice is unique but has landed him a number of number 1’s including his longest running number 1 Why Don’t We Just Dance. He will certainly have the Long Road crowd dancing on Sunday evening! Your other headliner is Kip Moore, a popular artist here in the U.K. he frequents our shores a couple of times a year so it’s good to see him back once again as our Saturday Night headliner. We can expect such fan favourites as Hey Pretty Girl, Somethin Bout a Truck and Plead the Fifth. But there are some very exciting names on the list besides the headliners, the likes of Morgan Evans, an Australian born, Nashville based artist who’s had chart success recently with Kiss Somebody which got to number 3 on the US Billboard Country AirPlay charts. I’ve seen him at festivals before and his use of the loop pedal makes his performance quite mesmerising!
Also on the bill is Cam, it will be amazing to see the audience sing loudly along to Diane, a song which didn’t perform particularly well on the charts in the States but it is certainly a crowd pleaser over here! Suzy Bogguss rose to fame in the 80s and has had a number of hits since then. She has had Gold and Platinum certified records. Particularly popular in the 90s it has been a long time since Suzy performed in the U.K. so we’re really in for a treat, make sure you don’t miss this legend of the genre! Two of the most exciting females on the scene right now are Lainey Wilson and Lauren Jenkins (you can read interviews with them further down our site!) Lainey has some fantastic songs that have a lot of attitude like Waste of Good Whiskey and Middle Finger. Lauren Jenkins’ debut album No Saint had some incredibly well written and personal songs, these are two artists that you don’t want to miss.
There’s some great U.K. artists, particularly on the Friday night, the likes of Katy Hurt who recently played alongside Ashley Campbell and the Bellamy Brothers. Twinnie is performing on the Saturday, she has some great songs and is quite down to earth. Another name to point out is Jessie Buckley, the lead actress in the 2018 film Wild Rose. She will be singing songs from the soundtrack of that film. So please go out and support our homegrown talent!
So to all of you going to the Long Road this weekend, we hope you have a great time in the presence of some of the greatest musicians!