It would be a nightmare to organise a surprise party for a UK country fan. They’d go to extreme lengths to uncover what was being planned. Just look at the way we’ve all been speculating / scheming / offering bribes to find out who’s playing at C2C Festival next March (8th-10th). On country music fan social media groups there have been an impressive range of approaches to try and uncover this year’s headliners before tonight’s big announcement:
1. The Scientific Approach
There are those who’ve been analysing past line ups to try and peek inside the organisers’ minds. It may be cynical but by this reckoning the C2C line-up will include;
90s country legend + chart-topping artist with new album coming out + upcoming label mate / partner of aforementioned chart-topping artist + genius underrated in the U.S. act who Bob Harris has met.
2. Pipe Dreams
More positive thinkers, are of the “ask the universe” mentality. I’ve lost count of the threads listing who everyone would like to play at the festival, often tagging the C2C festival organisers too, like writing a letter to Santa. This year, disappointed by Carrie Underwood having to cancel her Long Road and Hyde Park appearances, there’s been a lot of hopeful checking on her baby’s due date and the rest of her Cry Pretty tour schedule. We’ve done many wish-lists ourselves, but so far Kenny Chesney has still, for some reason, always chosen festivals on the Caribbean Sea rather than one on the Thames.
3. Detective Work
If you have the dedication and research skills there are always clues out there. Australian Festival CMC Rocks (which happens the week after C2C) announce their line-up before ours, and since many of the U.S. artists have traditionally stopped in the UK en route Down Under, it’s been a reliable indicator. Or, you could try obsessively checking artists schedules for anyone who announces a tour or new album for 2019 (which is how we’ve sadly been able to eliminate Eric Church.) But be careful not to be fooled by the pranksters who’ve been sharing cheeky Photoshopped pics in the forums!
There was the time when one of the ticket sites listed the tickets before the names were officially announced and an eagle-eyed fan spotted it before it was removed minutes later. More likely though is an artist leak. So far each year at least one act (though not headliner) has always managed to let something slip during their own tour dates or on social media. Caught up in the moment of a hyped encore they’ll shout something like “thank you London, I’ll see you in March!” or, plied with beer by cunning fans, they’ll answer “for sure” when asked if they’re playing C2C (though in his defence Drake White didn’t specify which year he’d “for sure” be coming back to C2C).
General C2C tickets go on sale in October (this year it’s Friday 26th) and so the announcement is this week too. Because last year Little Big Town announced their involvement during their Country Music Week show, all eyes are on this year’s big Country Music Week performers like Darius Rucker. We have other suspicions too from a mix of the methods above, but this late in the game, we might as well stop guessing and wait until tonight…
We’ll be there for the official headliner announcement by Bob Harris during the CMA Songwriter’s Session and if you’re not, we’ll be sure to let you know right away during social media.*
(*We may not be the fastest to break the news, but we may possibly be the drunkest, so that’s something.)