The UK country music is continuing to grow year-on-year and is currently the fastest growing genre. This is partly down to homegrown acts such as Ward Thomas, Andy Brown, and The Shires leading the way along with international touring acts such as Shania Twain, Lady Antebellum, and Sarah Darling boosting the genre in Britain.
C2C Festival has also played a vital role in the rise of UK country along with the TV show Nashville, and a host of other festivals such as Buckle and Boots and the newly formed BlackDeer Fest. And now a major new greenfield music and lifestyle camping festival will bring the world-renowned, inimitable sights and sounds of the country music scene to the UK in 2018
The new outdoor event is called The Long Road and will be taking place within the grounds of Stanford Hall in Leicestershire from September 7th – 9th. It will present one of Britain’s biggest and most authentic celebrations of country, Americana and roots music featuring five stages of live performances, bespoke food events and a a whole host of themed outdoor activities.
The Long Road has been curated by Tennessee-born country music specialist and radio presenter Baylen Leonard, and will feature a broad array of artists, from iconic US stars to rising and established homegrown talent, and the first wave of acts to be announced for the inaugural event includes US country star Lee Ann Womack, acclaimed singer-songwriter Billy Bragg, multi-platinum-selling singer-songwriter Angaleena Presley, British country duo The Shires, popstar turned country music singer Una Healy and Texan singer and winner of The Voice USA Danielle Bradbery.
Speaking about playing the festival, The Shires said: “We are very excited to be playing the first Long Road festival. Country music in the UK is starting to really gain momentum and an outdoor festival dedicated to it will be great fun to play.”
While Angaleena Presley, stated: “I’m so excited to be a part of The Long Road Festival. I love the inclusive vibe. I’m not only looking forward to performing, but also hanging out and enjoying all the fixins’. Great Food, good old-fashioned country music and salt of the earth people. It’s gonna be yeehawsome y’all.”
Reflecting the extraordinary surge in popularity that country music has enjoyed in the UK in recent years, The Long Road will also feature a strong contingent of rising star UK acts across the weekend including hotly-tipped London-based duo Ferris & Sylvester, fast rising Scottish singer Kevin McGuire, and country-soul singer songwriter Yola Carter.
Much more than just a music festival, The Long Road will embrace all aspects of the country and Americana scene and, alongside its exciting live music offerings, will incorporate an array of themed activities including Moonshine and bourbon tasting, instrument and songwriters’ rounds, lake swimming, a Southern-inspired food & shopping village and much, much more, providing festival goers with a unique, authentic country music lifestyle experience.
Marking the first time the platform has teamed with a country music event, BBC Music Introducing will host their own stage at the festival, which will be fronted by presenter of BBC Radio 2’s weekly country show Bob Harris and will showcase some of the UK’s most exciting unsigned talent. The festival has also partnered with a carefully selected pool of specialist country and Americana organisations including The Birthplace of Country Music, which showcases the role that Bristol, Tennessee and Bristol, Virginia played in the birth and development of country music, The Bluegrass Situation (BGS), an online music magazine and curator promoting the continued growth of bluegrass, roots, progressive folk rock, Americana music and culture, The Americana Music Association UK, and independent UK label Loose Records, who celebrate their 20th anniversary later this year. These organisations will all be involved in bringing artists to the festival to showcase a broad array of talent from across the spectrum of country, Americana and roots music.
Speaking about the launch of the festival, The Long Road’s Creative Director Baylen Leonard, said: “Being from Tennessee and having lived in the UK for close to 20 years, I’m thrilled to bring the music and culture of both together in one festival. The dedication and passion of the UK country community is so amazing, we wanted to put together a festival that celebrated the music and lifestyle they love as a thank you to the fans for supporting country music. Whether you’re a country fan, an Americana fan, or a fan of great music in general, we wanted a welcoming place where everyone could come together to celebrate. This is a festival for the fans and we’re excited to share it with you.”
The full line-up to date is as follows, with more acts to be announced soon:
Lee Ann Womack
Danny and The Champions of the World
The Wandering Hearts
The Wood Brothers
Two Ways Home
Jess and The Bandits
William The Conqueror
Ferris & Sylvester
The Lone Bellow
Folk Soul Revival
The Long Road Festival will take place at Stanford Hall in Leicestershire from September 7th – 9th 2018. Day tickets start at £40*, Weekend No Camping tickets at £85* and Weekend Camping tickets start at £99* (*plus booking fees). Tickets go on sale from 9am on Thursday April 12th!
Are you excited about The Long Road Festival? Let us know your thoughts over on Twitter @CelebMix.