First country music festival comes to The O2, London

Tina Hart
C2C at The O2, London

A group of the some of the leading country music stars in the world are joining forces for the first time in London for C2C: Country to Country gig at The O2 Arena.

The two-day music festival extravaganza will come to the venue on Saturday and Sunday, 16-17 March, 2013.

It will see a line up including Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood, Darius Rucker, Vince Gill, Little Big Town, Brantley Gilbert, Kristian Bush, LeAnn Rimes and others to be announced shortly – the headliners of which have combined achievements of 100 million albums and 30 Grammys. McGraw accounts for 40million of those album, 20 million are Rimes’ and 22 million are Vince Gill who also boasts a collection of 20 Grammys.

The O2 and SJM Concerts in association with the Country Music Association have established C2Cwith the intention of it becoming an annual event.

Jay Marciano, president and CEO of AEG Europe said: “As The O2 is the world’s most popular venue, the creation of C2C: Country to Country, will allow us to continue to maintain that position; our focus is to bring new and exciting events to UK music fans.
“SJM Concerts and The O2 have jointly created this festival which we anticipate will become a sought after annual event. C2C: Country to Country will cater to the thousands of country music fans in the UK who want to experience some of the biggest names in country music all in one place."

Headlining on Saturday 16th is the multi-award winning Tim McGraw who has had 11 consecutive albums that debuted at No.1 on the Billboard albums charts. He is the winner of three Grammys, 14 Academy of Country Music awards, 11 Country Music Association (CMA) awards, 10 American Music Awards, and three People's Choice Awards.

Speaking about the forthcoming event, McGraw said: "Our trip to the UK and playing The O2 is one of the things I'm looking forward to the most for next year.
"I love being able to take my music to other countries, and I think there are a lot of new songs on Two Lanes Of Freedom that fans over there will really dig. It's going to be a blast!"

Headlining on Sunday 17th will be Carrie Underwood, with 15 million album sales worldwide, five Grammy Awards and sold out London’s Royal Albert Hall in record time this summer. Of C2C, Underwood said: "I love the idea of a country music festival in London and I'm so excited that so many amazing artists are coming together for Country to Country. I feel honored to help represent country music, and I know it's going to be a really fun weekend!"

As part of a new, recently launched initiative, CMA is investing in an international Country Music industry education and awareness strategy. CMA’s partnership with C2C: County to Country is a platform to showcase some of the most popular artists in the format. CMA will bring the power of extensive assets to help promote the event worldwide. Website features with C2C: Country to Country artist interviews, social posts and digital content are just a few of the ways that Country Music Association’s fan base will be engaged.

Steve Moore, CEO of CMA said: “We at CMA are thrilled to be involved with the Country to Country music festival at The O2 Arena. It will prove to be the beginning of an annual music tradition that Nashville artists can perform and build new fans throughout the UK and Europe."

BBC Radio 2 is the official radio partner and one of its specialist presenters, Bob Harris, is supporting the event and will be broadcasting highlights. He said: "It's fantastic to see such a great line-up of major Nashville talent performing in the UK. There's a very vibrant music scene in Nashville at the moment and it feels like a particularly exciting time for country music.
“I'm so pleased that British audiences are being given the opportunity to see some of country music's greatest stars performing live, and am personally thrilled to be able to reflect such a great weekend of music on my Radio 2 country show."

C2C: Country to Country will be a festival platform to bring country music headliners together in one place, for one weekend. More than just a music festival, it will be a celebration of country style and culture and will see The O2 transformed into a mini Nashville.

Chris York, Director of SJM Concerts said: “We are proud to be working with Jay and his team at The O2 to deliver an event of this calibre in the UK. The talent is fabulous and we look forward to growing C2C: Country to Country to be the place to see the best in US Country artists in the best venue setting.”

More artists and stages are to be announced for 60,000 music fans across the weekend. Tickets go on sale Friday, December 7 at 9am.



Tags: Darius Rucker, Little Big Town, Carrie Underwood, Country Music Association, country, tim mcgraw, vince gill, brantley gilbert, kristian bush, leann rimes

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