Europe’s annual celebration of live country music, the Country to Country Festival, has announced its first Spotlight Stage artists for the 2019 event in London. Homegrown talents the Wandering Hearts (above) and Catherine McGrath will be joined on the bill by rising stars of US country Abby Anderson, Caroline Jones, Fairground Saints, Jimmie Allen and Runaway June.
These are the artists that will be afforded the accolade of performing on the second stage in the 02 Arena over the 8-10 March weekend; the festival also takes place on those dates at the 3Arena Dublin and SSE Hydro in Glasgow. McGrath and the Wandering Hearts are elevated to the Spotlight Stage after performances on the festival stages this year, while the American acts will all be making their C2C debut.
The Spotlight Stage hosts performances by rising artists in between sets by the stars who fill the main stage. In London, these are Keith Urban, Brett Eldredge, Cam and Chase Rice (8 March), Lady Antebellum, Hunter Hayes, Dustin Lynch and Carly Pearce (9) and Chris Stapleton, Lyle Lovett, Ashley McBryde and Drake White & the Big Fire (10).
Wild Silence, the first full-length by UK Americana harmony quartet the Wandering Hearts, entered the UK country chart at No. 1 and they have made two prestigious trips to Nashville since June, performing at such storied venues as the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman Auditorium and the Bluebird Café. In August, Northern Irish singer-songwriter McGrath’s debut album made a No. 13 debut on the main UK chart, and she has had no fewer than 12 consecutive tracks on Spotify’s New Music Fridays playlist.
Abby Anderson’s eventful 2018 has included support slots with Russell Dickerson and Chase Rice, then shows with Devin Dawson and Brett Eldredge on the autumn leg of the Long Way Tour. Caroline Anderson’s Bare Feet album became a top 20 entry on the US country chart and she has toured this year with Jimmy Buffett and the Eagles, Zac Brown Band and OneRepublic, and Tim McGraw & Faith Hill.
California-raised trio Fairground Saints were signed by Sony Music Nashville within two weeks of relocating to Music City; their country-meets-Laurel-Canyon sound has won millions of streams for such tracks as ‘Can’t Control The Weather’ and ‘Turn This Car Around.’ Stoney Creek Records signing Jimmie Allen has had a country airplay No. 1 with ‘Best Shot,’ marking the first time a black artist has launched his career with such acclaim; female trio Runaway June have won chart honours with ‘Lipstick’ and ‘Wild West’ and won a 2018 ACM nomination for New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year.
Tickets for C2C 2019 are on sale now, and more information can be found at the festival website.