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10 Things To See At C2C Festival 2023

March 1, 2023 12:00 pm GMT
Last Edited June 5, 2023 11:23 am GMT

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For all of our readers over the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, a weekend long festival of country music would be just another Friday to Sunday.

But for the rest of us, stuck over here in the UK and Ireland wondering what it's like to have all of the best country music stars playing on your doorstep, this is our chance to live for a weekend as if we actually did.

Now returning for it's 10th year, the C2C Festival takes place at the O2 Arena in London, the 3 Arena in Dublin and The OVO Hydro in Glasgow across 10th to the 12th March 2023.

Performances come from the world’s best country stars as well as emerging talent from Nashville, the UK and Europe.

With the festival just around the corner, we sorted through all the hundreds of incredible artists playing over the weekend (not to mention the bars and shops!) and picked out a few of our own not-to-be-missed moments.

This is Holler's guide to the Best Things to See at C2C Festival 2023.

Holler Country Music

C2C Festival 2023

Introducing Nashville: Tyler Braden, Caylee Hammack, Alana Springsteen

Three of country music’s most exciting kind-of-newbies open up the main stage on Friday in London, Saturday in Glasgow and on Sunday in Dublin and we can’t wait!

In the grand tradition of men called Tyler making incredible country music, Tyler Braden joins Childers, Booth and Hubbard as the latest Tyler we're getting all squealy about.

Caylee Hammack has been a godlike presence in country music ever since she first appeared back in 2019 with ‘Family Tree’.

More recently she’s been a part of Ashley McBryde’s Lindeville project and released the brilliant ‘All or Nothing’. If she plays any of those, we will DIE.

Meanwhile, Alana Springsteen - one of Holler's 23 Artists for 2023 - has been busily documenting her break-ups and make-ups since 2019 with a string of near perfect pop country singles all delivered in her laid-back Gen-Z zero-fucks style.

<p>Artist - Zac Brown Band Live</p>

20,000 country fans singing along to ‘Chicken Fried’ with Zac Brown Band

In recent years, Zac Brown Band have strayed from their country roots and experimented with a sound that has not been to everyone’s taste. Even so, this will never detract from the absolute classics that the group crafted back in the late 2000s and early 2010s.

Despite ‘Colder Weather’, ‘Toes’ and ‘Knee Deep’ being hot contenders, their most memorable hit is unquestionably the quirky, euphoric ‘Chicken Fried’. Hearing a sold-out, O2-wide chorus of “A cold beer on a Friday night / A pair of jeans that fit just right” will be a huge moment to say the least.

Pillbox Patti

Here to show all the other blubbering wet wipes exactly what country music is made of is legendary songwriter Nicolette Hayford’s pill-popping, potty-mouthed gangsta country alter ego, Pillbox Patti.

We can’t wait to hear the songs off her seminal mini album Florida live, and if she happens to feel like dipping into the Lindeville repertoire for a cheeky little ‘Brenda Put Your Bra On’ or ‘Bonfire At Tina’s’ then we’ll be more than there for that too.

Lainey Wilson

In the past six months, Lainey Wilson has become one of the most prominent and exciting artists in country music.

She’s broken country radio records, won a plethora of awards and even starred in the latest season of the hit Western series, Yellowstone.

Her brand of Bell Bottom Country is eclectic, bohemian and irresistibly fun, and is sure to go down a treat with London listeners.

The ‘Heart Like A Truck’ hitmaker will dial up the energy levels, ahead of two more eagerly anticipated Friday night sets from Jordan Davis and Thomas Rhett.

<p>Artist - Lainey Wilson Live</p>

Morgan Evans

After seeing Kelsea Ballerini’s highly emotional performances on her recent HEARTFIRST tour, we’re completely ready to hear the other side of the heartbreak.

Morgan Evans' latest single ‘Over For You’ hints that this particular marriage break-up might be a particularly high-yielding one for super sad country songs. We’ll be sending Morgan Evans a nice big distant hug from the audience whenever we see him while we’re at it too.

Record Shopping

As a UK country fan, we’ve all felt the momentary excitement of stumbling upon a new record shop, only to thumb through vinyl after vinyl to find 20 copies of Rumours and not a single Willie, Waylon or Dolly sleeve in sight.

If this sounds at all relatable, then when you enter C2C’s record store, located in the bustling Town Square, you’ll be as happy as Luke Combs in a Columbia PFG store. For an extra special souvenir, keep an eye out for the artist-signed copies.

Holler Country Music

C2C Festival 2023

The Bluebird Café Songwriters Round

The legendary Nashville nightspot returns to C2C in London on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th March. Taking the form of a songwriter’s round, each artist will be taking it in turns to talk about their relationship with The Bluebird Cafe, their songwriting and the stories behind their music.

The line-up over the three shows includes Adam Doleac, Alyssa Bonagura, Amanda Shires, Catie Offerman, Drake Milligan, Hannah Ellis, Jeff Cohen, Madeline Edwards and Randall King. If you can get in, it’ll be very special.

Randall King

Armed with smooth, honeyed vocals and a penchant for neo-traditionalist, honky tonk anthems, Randall King is taking a leaf straight out of the George Strait playbook.

The Texan will be appearing at a variety of stages across the weekend, and hearing his swaggering drawl floating across the C2C Town Square will transport you past the tumbleweed and straight through the swinging saloon doors of an old Western dance hall. Given today’s popularity boom of 90s country, Randall King is sure to be a hit with the C2C crowd.

The Dukes Of Highgate Barrelhouse Takeover

If you haven’t got a ticket for the main arena in London then you don’t need to worry. There’s just as much fun to be had without going in.

Nashville isn’t the only place in the world with all the honky tonks, you know, and this North London bar is fast becoming the place to be for country music lovers across the capital.

The team behind London’s finest honky tonk bring you three nights of DJs, line dancing and live music in The Barrelhouse, situated in the Town Square, from 6pm.

You can also expect raucous sets from Hackney Hillpickers, Savannah Gardner, Sheyna Gee, Matt Hodges, Kelley Swindall and Morganway playing out over the three nights.

Song Suffragettes London

The pioneering all-women writer’s round will be making its C2C debut on Sunday 12th March. At 10:30am, a trio of up-and-coming artists - Alyssa Bonagura, Haley Mae Campbell and Paris Adams - will be performing acoustic sessions in The Saloon at All Bar One.

Founded in Nashville in 2014, Song Suffragettes recently started a widely celebrated monthly London residency at The Camden Club. After their C2C appearance, their April 5th show will no doubt be packed to the rafters.

The tantalising possibility of hearing a Kenny Chesney song playing over the C2C Arena speakers

(Just kidding - partially…)

C2C Festival takes place at the O2 Arena in London, the 3 Arena in Dublin and The OVO Hydro in Glasgow across 10th to the 12th March 2023

For more on C2C Festival, see below:

Written by Maxim Mower
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