C2C 2017 line-up predictions
This is in no way the set line-up for next year's show but I have jotted down my thoughts on prospective line-ups for a few years now and they always seem to make a popular read so here we go again! New for this year (and by popular request) I'll be doing satellite stage predictions too.
A very popular choice at 2016's C2C Festival, Frankie already seems keen to return to the UK regularly. He has played big arena stages before and has a general style that would seem to translate well to the main stage.
Sure to be a popular addition to the line-up, Cam is very popular in Europe and has already experienced that while performing at the Apple Music Festival. Whilst it has now been a while since the Apple Music Festival and she has not been particularly vocal about returning to the UK, she is definitely one to keep an eye on.
Recent tweets have hinted at at least one artist from William Morris Endeavor Entertainment's roster making an appearance at next year's festival and in my opinion Sara seems to be a strong choice. C2C have had a well-known legendary artist each year and Sara fits the gap from previous artists like Martina McBride and Vince Gill. Having just signed a new record contract and with a new album slowly in the works (which could feasibly be released early next year) it would definitely be a good time for Sara to play Europe.
The UK (and Europe as a whole) have always embraced Lady Antebellum and this shows no sign of changing with Charles' and Hillary's respective solo albums. Charles has toured extensively in the US and played some relatively large venues (as well as playing arena shows as part of Lady Antebellum) and always delivers a consummate performance. Worth noting that this could be even more interesting if Josh is on a satellite stage on the same day (see satellite stage predictions below).
A very popular artist, Kelsea hasn't been particularly vocal about coming to Europe but there is a huge call for her to come over here and she continues to ride high on the success of her album. As one of the most popular current female artists, it seems logical that the C2C organisers would want to see her over here sooner rather than later. She is also part of the same PR company as Florida Georgia Line (who have previously played C2C).
Keith's current RipCord tour is marketed as a world tour so we can feasibly expect to see Keith make his way to Europe at some point during the tour's cycle. It'll be interesting to see whether this is as part of his own tour or as part of C2C but the talented entertainer definitely seems like a strong headliner choice.
As with Keith, Garth's current tour is marketed as a world tour but has yet to see him play any dates in Europe. An interesting time for him at the moment as a newly independent artist, Garth is reportedly exploring overseas tour dates for when his American shows finish in 2017. Certain to be a huge headlining draw on any C2C line-up.
Always incredibly popular with a C2C audience and often over in the UK and Europe generally, Striking Matches have been incredibly well received ever since their pop-up stage performance at the first year of the show. Playing a mix of venues in the past their high-octane, slick guitar playing and vocal performance would move from the pop-up and satellite stages easily and a main-stage performance would continue to build upon their European support.
Cassadee is no stranger to arena shows and no stranger to the UK itself. Good friends with previous C2C performer Chris Young and another artist that's part of William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, there always seems to be a huge call for Cassadee to make her way over here. C2C could tie in nicely to a tour of her own.
Another very popular artist in Europe generally, a C2C appearance would mark the first time Jake has been over here. A good way for Jake to test the European response without having to finance a full tour of his own, 2017 seems like a good year for him to be a part of C2C with an album that will still be able to be classed as relatively 'new' by March 2017 and no clear tour plans yet.
ELI YOUNG BAND
Currently working on a new album, the addition of Eli Young Band would add another dynamic to the line-up. The group have a lot of catchy songs that will be sure to get the crowd singing along, a strong contender for second or third slot on one of the nights.
Adding a grittier, often rockier tone to any prospective line-up, Lee Brice is incredibly popular over here and there are often calls for him to tour in Europe. Good friends with American Young (who played this year's show) and on the same PR roster as Lee Ann Womack, it seems that Lee would certainly be a welcome performer over here. Often been applauded for his live show, he could bring another energy to C2C main stage performances.
Headlining next month's C2C Social it seems like an obvious choice to include Lucie in the line-up somewhere. Whilst it would certainly be nice to see her on the main stage I can't really see it happening, a satellite stage performance would be a very good step for her and would serve to re-introduce her to an audience who may remember her more as a pop artist.
The fact that the duo are already in discussions to be part of C2C 2017 (see my interview with them here) seems to point to Rachel and Bryan being either part of the main-stage or satellite stage line-up. Relatively unknown in the UK at the moment, a satellite stage performance offers them a chance to gauge the reaction of an international audience and also gives them an overall taste of the festival atmosphere.
Coming over to the UK for a couple of shows next month, Josh hasn't given much away about a possible return to the UK (read my interview with him here). The couple of UK dates next month proves that Europe is definitely on Josh's radar and he is also on William Morris Endeavor Entertainment (alongside Sara and Cassadee) which does seem to tie in with the new album and the UK shows. The satellite stage set-up would seem to suit him well.
Good friends with Lucie Silvas and already looking to return to the UK, Jamie is very keen to get to play over here. C2C's format would give her a chance for a strong introduction to a considerable audience as well as giving her some time to be a tourist (as she wants to!) in the relevant countries.
Whilst there were no UK artists in the satellite stage line-up during 2016's festival that is not to say that there won't be any in 2017. Honey Ryder are a well-respected and successful UK trio who have been very well received during previous C2C performances and also throughout their general tour dates. They would definitely be a strong choice to re-introduce UK country artists to the satellite stage and have already proved their popularity and overall strength.
A relatively new trio that are already making considerable waves within country music. A satellite stage set gives them chance to make their name in front of the considerable main arena audience and maybe take some new fans out of the experience. A strong way for them to debut over here without having to finance their own tour.
So there you have it! Let me know your thoughts!
I am more than happy to discuss pop-up stages with anyone who is interested to know my thoughts but due to the shear number of possible acts I won't be posting any predictions for those.