C2C Country To Country 2019 preview: 10 Festival Stages acts to see
We took you through the acts appearing on the main stage at C2C Country To Country this year in our preview, but if you a) don't have an arena ticket, or b) do but want to see a bunch of amazing new artists, then you really need to check out the Festival Stages that are spread around the O2. Trying to figure out who's worth seeing and when they're on is a tricky thing, so here's our "must see" country music artists appearing on the Festival Stages at C2C Country To Country.
(Friday, BBC Radio 2 Stage / Saturday. Town Square Stage / Sunday, C2C Sessions at The Loft)
First up is Raelynn who's on a major Nashville label and has had a decent amount of success in the US with her 2017 debut album, Wild Horses. Well Decent amount of success underplays the No.1 country album status she hit with that debut. Touring with some of the biggest names in country music has kept the Texans profile high, and she released new music in the form of 'Tailgate' last Autumn (aka Fall), and more recently the cracking 'Rowdy'.
(Friday, Spotlight Stage / Saturday, BBC Radio 2 Stage / Sunday, Country Music Week Hub - All Bar One / Sunday, C2C Sessions at The Loft)
This trio has been tipped by everyone from Billboard to Rolling Stone Magazine, and their harmonies are grabbing people by the scruff of the neck and not letting go. Their self titled EP came out in summer 2018 and instantly hooked people with 'Buy My Own Drinks' and 'Wild West'. It's great to see their UK debut at C2C and there are four chances to catch them.
(Friday, Spotlight Stage / Saturday, Country Music Week Hub - All Bar One / Sunday, BBC Radio 2 Stage / Sunday, C2C Sessions at The Loft)
The slinky, soulful pop of Abby Anderson's debut EP, I'm Good, is pretty much summed up by the title track. That catchy little track is followed by the thoughtful 'Make Him Wait' and both are bested by 'Naked Truth'. There's a sass to the Texan that's endearing, and she'll definitely be one of the highlights.
(Friday, Town Square Stage / Saturday, Country Music Week Hub - All Bar One / Sunday, BBC Radio 2 Stage / Sunday, C2C Sessions at The Loft)
So here's a solid gold guarantee for the weekend: 'Middle Finger' will be the song that everyone remembers. There's a proper country music attitude to the sound of Lainey Wilson. The Louisiana native has a 2016 record that's really very good, but it's her self-titled EP from last year that really kills it. Your second favourite song of the weekend will be 'Waste Of Good Whiskey'. This is real country written with feeling and sung in style.
(Saturday, Town Square Stage / Saturday, C2C Sessions at The Loft / Sunday, Town Square Stage / Sunday, BBC Radio 2 Stage)
There are so many truly quality acts on the Festival Stages it's impossible to choose a favourite overall, though Lauren Jenkins is right up there. Fresh out of the Big Machine Label Group, the New Yorker turned Nashvillian tells stories in her music. Whether it's 'Maker's Mark And You' or the honest reflection of 'No Saint' this artist has something to say, and can write a wicked tune.
(Friday, Town Square Stage / Friday, Country Music Week Hub - All Bar One / Sunday, BBC Radio 2 Stage)
Kansas born Logan Mize's brand of country pulls in some traditional elements, a bit of pop, and a large chunk of rock leanings. The opening track of his last record, Come Back Road, namechecks Springsteen and Mellencamp, Jack Daniels and Jim Beam, as well as Joe Montana and Beau & Luke (Duke), and nicely sums up his appeal. This'll be one of the more fun sets of the weekend.
(Friday, Town Square Stage / Saturday, Big Entrance Stage / Saturday, C2C Sessions at the Loft)
There's not a lot of music out there right now for this newest of artists, but 'Lady Like', the first single from Ingrid Andress is terrific. Her voice is thick with character, the lyrics poignant and current, and the melody totally memorable. It's going to be a treat to hear more from her.
James Barker Band
(Friday, The Saloon - All Bar One / Saturday, BBC Radio 2 Stage / Sunday, Country Music Week Hub - All Bar One / Sunday, C2C Sessions at the Loft)
This quartet could be this year's Lanco, i.e. the band that takes their pop-tinged version of country music to the masses, though James Barker Band are more country than Lanco. 'Living The Dream' is great, and the best track from their 2017 EP Game On.
(Saturday, Town Square Stage / Sunday, Big Entrance Stage)
With the release of her recent single, 'Keith', New Zealand up and comer Kaylee Bell has gone almost full circle, as Keith Urban has been inextricably linked with her career so far: they both won the same NZ talent contest (though some years apart!); and Urban has has Kaylee guest live on stage twice. C2C is the first time the UK will get a proper chance to hear the talented singers tracks like 'One More Shot'.
(Friday, Town Square Stage / Saturday, BBC Radio 2 Stage / Saturday, C2C Session at the Loft)
Having written for the likes of Jason Aldean, Chase Rice, and Justin Moore, it's about time Tavis Denning stepped out on his own. His debut track, 'David Ashley Parker From Powder Springs' showed an artist that has echoes of Luke Combs in his style. The Georgian singer-songwriters subsequent singles only double down on that country-rock, baritone voiced, bourbon laced sound.
Tickets are still available for the arena shows at C2C. To see the artists listed above you just need a wristband for the weekend. They're also still available for a bargain £10 a day.