HomeC2C5 biggest surprises at C2C: Country to Country 2018

5 biggest surprises at C2C: Country to Country 2018

C2C: Country to Country 2018 may be over but we’re still on a high after a fantastic weekend with some of the best artists in Country music.

One of our favourite things about the festival is that there’s so much talent on offer, it’s inevitable that you’ll be caught by surprise by a few of the performances. You know when you’ve got acts like Little Big Town and Kacey Musgraves headlining that the arena talent is going to be solid but the pop-up stages often house the biggest surprises.

We spent as much team as we could checking out the other stages around The O2 and the BBC Radio 2 Stage housed more than its fair share of fantastic performances. Actually, we could have spent the whole weekend in there if we hadn’t had other things to do!

Now we’ve had a little time to digest all of the fantastic music we saw and heard, we’ve compiled our Top 5 surprises from the weekend. Find out who impressed us the most…


5. Russell Dickerson

We’re going to be completely honest here. We saw Dickerson at Nashville Meets London in 2017 and while we enjoyed his performance, we didn’t leave thinking, ‘wow he was amazing’. Over the course of C2C we ended up seeing Dickerson 3 times but it was his set on the Late Night Stage that impressed us the most. The late-night vibe, a day full of fantastic music and Dickerson giving it everything he had made us groove our backsides off. Admittedly we didn’t grind and hip thrust as well as he did, but we gave it our best shot. Best of all was his vocals were superb so let’s just say our opinion has been revised.

Read our review of Russell Dickerson’s Late Night Stage performance

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4. Lukas Nelson

Willie Nelson’s son proved that he can step out of his father’s shadow at C2C this weekend and stand firmly on his own two feet. We only managed to catch him on the Spotlight Stage (and assisting Margo Price during her set) but he was pretty incredible. From his ‘where the hell did that come from’ vocals through to his incredible guitar playing skills, Nelson definitely had that ‘a star is born’ moment over the weekend. Roll on July when he’s back for a headline show.

Read our review of Lukas Nelson’s Spotlight Stage performance

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3. Walker Hayes

We were a little nervous about Walker Hayes performing at C2C. There’s been a lot of debate around the category his music fits into but honestly we couldn’t care less. Good music is good music, and Hayes defied the odds by pulling big crowds and impressing with his combination of clever artistry and fantastic charisma. All of the performances we saw were engaging, entertaining and memorable, and quite frankly we thought he was the bees knees.

Read our review of Walker Hayes’ BBC Radio 2 Stage performance

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2. Ashley McBryde

We had high expectations for Ashley McBryde but what we didn’t expect was to be blubbing our way through her sets. The Girl Goin’ Nowhere (oh the irony) singer-songwriter possesses a voice that comes deep from the soul and she’s a fantastic storyteller too. During her sets we laughed our socks off, cried our eyes out and felt a whole lot of love. Quite honestly she could have sang the phonebook to us and we’d have asked where we can buy it from. That’s how good she is.

Read our review of Ashley McBryde’s BBC Radio 2 Stage performance

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1. Delta Rae

Before C2C we knew the name Delta Rae but had no idea what they were all about. A cursory listen to their recent A Long and Happy Life prior to the festival didn’t immediately grab us. Well imagine what fools we felt when we saw them live and realised they are actually absolutely amazing. Consisting of three siblings, their best friend and two close friends, Delta Rae blew our socks off and we can’t stop talking about them. Solid vocals, killer harmonies and seriously good tunes mark the band out as one everyone needs to listen to, and they need to come back for a headline tour asap.

Read our review of Delta Rae’s BBC Radio 2 Stage performance

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C2C: Country to Country returns in 2019 from 8th to 10th March. Early bird tickets go on-sale this Friday (16th March) from

Pip Ellwood-Hughes
Pip Ellwood-Hughes
Pip is the Editor of Entertainment Focus and the Managing Director of agency Piñata Media.

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