Now that the annual furore that surrounds the announcement of the Country 2 Country festival in London line up has abated, although the mystery ‘TBA’ artist is still to be revealed, it got me to thinking about what what would be the ideal weekend line up for a Country music festival in London?
If money were no object, all artists were ready and willing to cross the Atlantic and there were no time, health or budget constraints, what would be the best Country music festival that could be assembled? So, it really is fantasy time, but hey, it’s fun to do a little fantasy stuff every now and again, right?
Although some people tend to forget just how many CMA winners, Entertainers of the Year and big A list artists we’ve been lucky enough to see here in the UK in the last decade thanks to festivals like C2C and the Long Road, my criteria for assembling this fantasy line up was largely based around artists that haven’t been to the UK in a long time, or even ever at all. There’s also a sliding scale of size, because just like every festival, you can’t have six ‘headline status’ artists all playing on the same day.
Saturday – Day One
What an opener Chris would be. An energetic whirling dervish up on stage, Janson has never been to the UK but now that he’s signed with Big Machine records, a label that traditionally has a more Euro-centric outlook, we can but hope he might be over soon.
Another artist who has never been to the UK. A string of number ones under his belt and some absolute bangers like ‘Barefoot Blue Jean Night’ which would create a great atmosphere in our fantasy arena, Jake is a much-wished-for artist in anyone’s ‘fantasy festival’ line up.
We last saw Trisha over here at Warwick Arts Centre in 1999! Fleeting moments on the recent run of Dublin shows from Garth Brooks aren’t enough for us as Miss Yearwood has one of the best back catalogues of any Country artist. It’s time for her to stand back in her own spotlight again!
It’s a no-brainer, right? Chesney seems to be everyone’s number one wish for festival headliner over here in the UK but the chances of it ever happening seem less than remote. He’s my Saturday night headliner and would bring the house down in some style.
Sunday – Day 2
One of the Zeitgeist artists in the industry right now thanks to the success of ‘Til You Can’t’ and his double ‘Human’ album. Cody will open up day 2 of the festival and knock off any lingering tiredness or hangover from day 1 nicely with his brand of Texan Country music.
Brice had a UK tour scheduled that was scuppered by the pandemic so there’s hope that we might see him on this side of the pond one day. A tremendous singer with a fantastic catalogue of powerful songs, Brice would light up the stage with ease.
Brooks & Dunn
Another no-brainer but a real long shot – maybe even the longest shot of any artist on this bill as urban legend says that one of this beloved duo is afraid of flying. What a Sunday session this would be, one of the best acts in the history of Country music tearing up the London stage. Sadly, your best chance is to fly to Vegas these days if you really do want to see Brooks and Dunn whilst you still can.
There’s really only one artist that could follow Brooks & Dunn and headline the Sunday night. Dolly has recently announced her retirement from touring but that doesn’t stop her doing the odd festival spot and a ‘Greatest Hits’ set from her would be the perfect end to this fantasy weekend.
We’ll let you know when the tickets go on sale!