2018 brings C2C Festival into their sixth year at the O2 Arena London in March for a three day event. With Country Music on the rise, C2C is THE place to be. If you think country music is just Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers then think again – modern country music has some of the most talented musicians in the industry who are really starting to make a name for themselves across all genres. Grammy winning artists such Maren Morris prove that country music is fresh, modern and infectious bridging the gap between country and pop.
C2C has played host to a high calibre of country artists over the years such as Carrie Underwood, Tim McGraw, Zac Brown Band, Luke Bryan, previously mentioned Maren Morris, Brad Paisley, Reba, Eric Church and many many more.
This year C2C can boast one of the most sought after live acts across the genre in Friday Headliners Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. An opportunity to see the married power couple perform together is a rarity, especially within the UK. Tim McGraw played the first ever C2C back in 2013 and we are delighted to welcome him back with his wife Faith Hill who had huge success in the UK with her hit single This Kiss back in 1998.
Also on Fridays bill is country pop singer/songwriter Kelsea Ballerini. Kelsea has released two successful albums – The First Time (2015) and Unapologetically (2017). Kelsea has brown from strength to strength over the years receiving multiple award wins and nominations including a nod from the Grammys when she was nominated for best new artist in 2017. Kelsea had a hit number single with her self penned ballad Peter Pan and has continued to gain success with each single thereafter. Kelsea recently married Australian Country newcomer Morgan Evans who joins Kelsea at C2C as part of the Spotlight Stage which is held at the back of the O2 Arena between main stage acts and is always a very successful and much loved platform by fans.
Fridays main stage line up also brings us country band Old Dominion. Old Dominion are one of the funnest bands in country music – with quirky, well crafted, catchy songs, Old Dominion are some of the best songwriters in Nashville. A band who could easily cross over to mainstream success with songs such as Break Up With Him, Song For Another Time and Snapback from their debut album Meat and Candy and more recently with songs No Such Thing As A Broken Heart, Shoe Shopping and Written In The Sand from album Happy Endings.. Old Dominion were rated one of the best live acts of last year amongst UK country fans and will undoubtedly deliver a show stopping set at C2C.
Saturdays Main Stage line up starts with the late Glen Campbell’s daughter Ashley Campbell. Already having quite the fan base in the UK, Ashley will be playing a tribute to her late father, singing his music to a 20,000 strong audience who miss him terribly – her performance is set to be emotional for sure but beautiful. Ashley has recently released her single A New Year which is a stunning pop country ballad.
Relatively newcomer Luke Combs will make his UK debut on the O2 Arena Stage with his country rock sound. The North Carolina native released his debut album This One’s For You via Columbia Nashville. Combs first single Hurricane reached No. 1 on the Country Radio airplay charts and The album reached No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart and No. 5 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums. Combs then released his second single, When It Rains It Pours which also reached number one on the Country Airplay . This month Luke released One Number Away as his latest single. Luke is one of the artists fans are looking forward to the most as has been named an artist to watch via several publications and his fan base continues to grow daily.
UK favourite Kip Moore returns to the C2C stage after being a favourite in 2015. Kip Moore is quite simply one of the best and most underrated acts in country music. Kip’s strong southern rock sound and high energy performance’s will set the bar at C2C as his charming and rocking stage presence will shake the O2 Arena. Kip is on his third studio release Slowheart and he is without a doubt an artist not to be missed and an act you must listen to.
Reunited and it feels so good…..Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush went their separate ways releasing solo material for the last couple of years after years of playing together as one of country musics most successful duos Sugarland. Both Jennifer and Kristian have performed at C2C before but as solo acts so to have them reunite on the O2 stage is cooked up to be something very special indeed. Releasing their first single in years Still The Same, fans are excited to get to see Sugarland perform their biggest hits such as Stuck Like Glue, Stay, All I Want To Do and much more.
Headlining the Saturday will be Kacey Musgraves who has had a very successful career in the UK. Kacey being one of Country Music’s daring artists with controversial songs Follow Your Arrow and loved tracks such as Biscuits, Merry Go Round and Dime Store Cowgirl will have the audience in the palm if her hand singing along to every song. Kacey is currently working on her third studio release so hopefully we will get to hear some of those at C2C.
Sunday brings us the most talked about country band right now Midland. Midland have been the talk of the town with their traditional yet modern sound and notable fashion. Midland will make their UK debut at C2C and will leave fans with more than a Drinkin’ Problem after their set.
After Midland Americana artist Margo Price will take to the stage. Having played Glastonbury last year, Margo’s popularity within the UK has become even bigger and her current album All American Made has been included as one of the best albums of 2017 across numerous publications.
Legend EmmyLou Harris also makes her C2C debut and with the career she has had and the back catalogue that she can boast, C2C fans are certainly in for a treat. EmmyLou has been praised by the likes of Bob Harris for years and we are delighted that she will be joining the C2C line up.
Closing the London portion of C2C Festival is much loved vocal group Little Big Town. With some of the best voices in music in general, Karen, Kimberley, Philip and Jimmy always give an unforgettable performance which is always on fire. With a very impressive back catalogue of highly successful hits including Pontoon, Little White Church, Boondocks, Girl Crush and the award winning Better Man penned by Taylor Swift, Little Big Town will leave fans with a lasting memory of this years C2C Festival and will leave them craving more.
Not only will there be phenomenal acts on the main stage but the O2 Arena will also bring back the Spotlight Stage which is set up at the back of the arena in between main stage acts. This year we will get to see well established acts such as Morgan Evans, Brett Young, Jillian Jacqueline, Lukas Nelson & Promise of The Real, Lindsay Ell, Russell Dickerson, Walker Hayes and Ashley McBryde. Each act is worth checking out individually as all bring something very special to the table.
As if that wasn’t enough, the party doesn’t stop there. When the main stage acts finish, fans can go to after parties which are separately ticketed to see exclusive performances by Brett Young and Morgan Evans on Friday, Lukas Nelson and Promise of The Real Saturday and Walker Hayes on the Sunday. Each show will be followed by DJ Hish who will be playing music into the early hours of the morning.
During the daytime, there will be various pop up acts across numerous pop up stages, the acts haven’t been announced as of yet but you can be sure there will be a high calibre of artists as there are every year.
Other ticketed events during the day will be The Bluebird Sessions. Nashville comes to C2C with the infamous Bluebird Café with artists Ryan Hurd, Mo Pitney and Jillian Jacqueline sharing their stories behind the songs on Saturday and Ashley McBryde, Leslie Satcher and Walker Hayes sharing their stories on the Sunday. Acoustic songwriters rounds such as these are a treat and often the highlight for fans.
More will be announced over the coming weeks but C2C have proven year after year to why they are not just one of the best country music festivals but one of the best music festivals full stop. You will be hard pressed to find a better, more warming atmosphere than C2C and if the thought of country music still makes you cringe? Why not come down and check out some of the free stuff in the daytime but until then, check out some of the artists music and be a part of a genre that is so incredibly special and feels like family.