Country music is one of the fastest growing genre’s in the UK at the moment and is on the cusp of making a massive breakthrough on the mainstream charts. You only have to look at the success that homegrown country acts such as Ward Thomas, and The Shires are currently enjoying to realise that British fans are now embracing the country genre. Both acts have enjoyed major mainstream success, with Ward Thomas’ ‘Cartwheels‘ LP topping the Official UK Album Chart last year, making them the first ever British country act to do so. And The Shires becoming the fastest selling UK country act of all time.
And now the UK will play host to a massive three-day outdoor country and Americana festival when the Black Deer Festival arrives in East Sussex in 2018. The eagerly anticipated event will see UK and US country and Americana artists take to the stages over the weekend between July 20th and the 22nd.
The festival will take place on the grounds of one of the UK’s oldest deer parks; Eridge Park. The 3,000 acre estate is surrounded by luscious woodlands, open lakes, rolling hills, and is just a 50 minute train ride from London.
The Black Deer Festival will be overseen by the Entertee Events, spearheaded by Gill Tee and Deborah Shilling, who produce Party In The Park at London’s Hyde Park, along with Hop Farm Festival in Kent. Tee and Shilling, along with Colin Lloyd are currently in Nashville talking up the forthcoming festival with agents, organisations, and managers. And they are continuing to book artists for the major event. They have been working on the festival for the past year.
Speaking to MusicRow magazine about travelling to Nashville, and the festival as a whole, Lloyd says: “To give proper homage to Nashville, we had to come here. Everyone is getting exciting about it. The whole country genre is right on the cusp of making a huge breakthrough in the UK market. There’s just a wonderful array of fantastic talent in [Nashville] and we hope to encourage some of them to come to the UK and enjoy one of the most beautiful parts of the world. We want to give the artists the best time of their lives. We want them to go home and say, ‘That was fantastic. Let’s go back.’”
The Black Deer Festival will see around 50 acts performing across five stages, offering a fantastic mix of country, Americana, and UK based country artists. Headliners will be revealed at a later date. The five stages will include a songwriter’s stage and a children’s stage.
It will be a family-friendly event, we think family is very important as well, with camping and ‘glamping’ and all the things that go with it. But we want to make it a bit edgy. It’s not just country music, but a bit edgier country as well which is where we think the UK market is at.” Lloyd adds
Colin Lloyd estimates that the three-day event will be attended by around 10,000 music fans in the first year, but there is room to grow the festival up to 30,000 attendees.
This is not the first time Britain has hosted a major country music festival. With the genre growing considerably in the UK, there has been room for major events to take place. Most notably the Country Music Associations C2C: Country 2 Country Festival. Although there is a major difference between C2C and Black Deer. C2C is an arena festival, while Black Deer will be an outdoor festival.
Other exciting country music draws in the UK include the recently announced Country Music Week; A series of indoor concerts taking place this October.
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