The UK’s premier country music festival is heading into its fourth year next March, but there’s been buzz about it since around the end of the third edition earlier this year. Soon after the festival ended its third run they announced earlybird tickets, and with it the knowledge that the festival would officially land in London, Dublin and – new addition – Glasgow. Oslo and Stockholm were off the bill. The event was due to run March 11 through 13, with line-ups swapping over so that each city got the full roster of artists through the three days.
Then, in September, they announced that Carrie Underwood would headline the Sunday night, and on October 9 the full line-up was revealed at an exclusive launch event that included billed act Little Big Town. In addition to those two acts, due to play on the main stage were Thomas Rhett, Dwight Yoakam, Miranda Lambert, Sam Hunt, Maddie & Tae, Andrew Combs, Chris Stapleton, Kacey Musgraves and Eric Church. Tickets soon went on sale.
But the festival expands year on year with all kinds of entertainment, and this morning (Nov. 13) they announced who would play the Satellite Stage, now known as the Yamaha Music Stage. Introduced last year, the stage sits at the back of the O2 main arena in London, and is used to provide mini-sets to smaller acts during the intervals on each day. Last year homegrown duos The Shires and Ward Thomas played them, and this year Ashley Monroe, High Valley, Maren Morris, Striking Matches and Frankie Ballard are on the bill, with two acts playing on each of the three days. This stage will only be available in London, and there is one more special guest to be announced. There are rumors flying about who it’ll be, with some key theories.
– The Shires, because their star keeps rising and they played it last year.
– Angaleena Presley, because Ashley Monroe and Miranda Lambert are playing the same night and we know the Pistol Annies (their band) are reuniting.
– Rainey Qualley, as she has just completed a promotional trip to the UK and is due to return for shows in March, the same month as the festival.
Still be to announced are the after-party acts for each night of the festival, and those who will play the pop-up stages, a mix of different sized stages and mini-venues inside the O2 Arena that are free to attend and play host to a mix of smaller US acts and UK acts. The latter is expected to be announced in January, while there is no news on when we will know the former. There is also the line-up for the CMA Songwriters Series, which is not officially part of the festival but tags on to the audience in town by hosting inside the O2 the day before. Rest assured, we’ll keep you posted for Europe’s biggest country music event of the year.