Preview: Country to Country

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By Rachael Morris, Music Editor


In the past years, country has slowly been making its way into mainstream music, be it through celebrity pop stars such as Taylor Swift or the growing popularity of country stars such as Carrie Underwood and Eric Church.

Country to Country is an annual music festival, created by AEG Europe and SJM Concerts, which takes place every March. The festival was the first multi-day country music event to take place in the United Kingdom, since the demise of the popular Wembley Arena festival. In only two years the event has become Europe’s largest country music festival, bringing in over 50,000 fans across the weekend to celebrate everything that modern country has to offer. London’s O2 hosted the very first of the Country to Country festivals in 2013. The following year C2C spread to Dublin’s 3Arena and last year Stockholm and Oslo joined the line up as well. A variety of country stars such as Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan and Lady Antebellum have played at the festivals in previous years. Due to high demand, the festival will run over three nights this year for the first time.

In shortly over two weeks the annual UK showcase of Nashville’s biggest stars will touch down in Scotland for the first time. Glasgow’s C2C will take place at the Clyde Auditorium from Friday 11 March to Sunday 13. Some of the weekend’s headliners include country singing royalty Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert, and country rock star Eric Church.

Carrie Underwood rose to fame after she was crowned the winner of the fourth season of American Idol in 2005. She has since won seven Grammys, 17 Billboard Music Awards, 11 Academy of Country of Music Awards and nine American Music Awards. Her latest album, ‘Storyteller’, debuted at number six in the UK Album Charts.

American musician and singer-songwriter Eric Church has been signed to Capitol Nashville since 2005 singing country rock influenced by heavier rock and metal bands such as Metallica and AC/DC. Daniel Spears, in the Strathclyde Telegraph, describes Church’s latest album ‘Mr Misunderstood’ as “The album is a deeply personal offering, channelling more of the carefree country spirit of ‘Carolina’ than the fast-paced country rock of more recent works such as ‘Chief’ and ‘The Outsiders’.”

Miranda Lambert first gained recognition when she reached the finals of the reality television programme, Nashville Star. Her debut album, ‘Kerosene’, was certified platinum in the United States. After her last album, ‘Platinum’, debuted at number one in the Top Country Albums Charts, she became the first artist in the history of the chart to start her career with five consecutive number one albums.

The line-up features a strong mixture of male and female solo musicians as well as a sound mixture of duos and bands. Amongst the other country singers who will perform in Glasgow are Little Big Town, Kacey Musgraves, Chris Stapleton, Dwight Yoakam and Sam Hunt – who the Telegraph described as “Nashville’s answer to Ed Sheeran” at C2C last year.

However, with tickets reeling an almighty £50 to £85 price tag each night, depending on how good a view you desire, C2C certainly does not make for the cheapest experience. Assuming you wanted to watch from the stalls, and really who would pick anything else, the weekend would rack up to an eye watering bill of approximately £255. Whilst Glasgow’s Clyde Auditorium is due to host some of the country stars who are used to selling out stadiums, the price of getting there is undeniably steep. Comparisons with other festivals demonstrate just how expensive C2C really is. Tickets for TITP, for example, come in at £205 including a camping pass from Thursday to Monday. Whilst TITP is undoubtedly a very different festival and atmosphere, it sits at the pricier end of the festival market in Scotland and features a far longer line-up than C2C and yet it comes in £50 cheaper.} else {