A Weekend Full of live Country Music
The idea for a Country festival has been floating around in a Carlisle music promoter’s head for a several years without ever coming to fruition…until now.
The coronavirus pandemic lockdown provided the perfect opportunity to organise a brand-new event for Carlisle.
After a few frantic months of plotting and planning throughout the Covid19 lockdown, the Carlisle Country Music Festival has finally become a reality.
If one good thing is to come out of the Coronavirus pandemic this could be it!
The brand-new festival is confirmed for the weekend of 14 -16th May 2021. Covering three days, the event will feature an impressive collection of some of the UK’s very best Country acts, coming together in a spectacular line-up for the first Carlisle Country Music Festival.
Great expectations This new Carlisle festival is aiming high, it will be more in line with larger national events as opposed to the smaller, local country functions previously seen in and around Carlisle. It will, without doubt, be a special experience of live Country music for any Country fan fan who decides to give it a go.
Until now Carlisle hasn’t been known as a stronghold of Country music but this event is likely to change all that while bringing the City in line with much of the rest of the UK already enjoying the groundswell of Country popularity.
Geographically the historic city of Carlisle is an ideal location for such an event, it is virtually central to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Newcastle, Stranraer and York. The city is serviced by the West Coast and Northern rail lines for rail travellers and the M6, A6/A7 and A69 for road users, all routes run into and through the city.
Country music – The new popular choice
Country has suddenly become the popular choice of new and old music lovers in the UK. The more contemporary sounds of modern country music have elevated the genre to a prime position in the music hierarchy on this side of the Atlantic.
A growing army of fans in the UK have seen ‘Country’ go from corny to cool whilst shaking off the stigma of line dancing and the over-used standard tunes. Where once confessing to a penchant for country was like coming out as a Tory at the TUC conference, it’s now a badge of honour for music fans, drawn by musicianship and authentic storytelling.
The new popularity is heavily influenced by a modern Country approach, an approach more aligned to the classic Nashville sound than anything else. The popularity is particularly evident in the UK, where millions of adults are now thought to listen to Country; it’s a massive community in the UK and still growing.
In 2017 a Country Music Association study (CMA) found that millennials – those reaching young adulthood in the early 2000s – make up the largest segment of the UK audience, almost one-third of whom have tuned in to Country during the past five years. Sarah Trahern, chief executive of the CMA, based in Nashville, cites a “wonderful confluence of things” as the cause for the new popularity. “The ‘new’ Country is very much a broad church, there’s the classic rock and folk element but now there’s hip-hop, R&B and pop influences as well.”
“The TV series Nashville (a soap opera about country singers which first aired in 2012 and was later picked up in the UK) was massive and tapped into a young audience. The Country2Country festival started in London in 2013 and the US stars began to hear major good vibes about playing to UK audiences. Then Dolly played Glastonbury in 2014 to 180000 people and Radio 2 really upped the ante on their country coverage which really gave birth to the new wave of British Country.”
The Venue – the Crown & Mitre Hotel
The venue for the whole festival is the impressive Edwardian styled Crown & Mitre Hotel, situated in the historic quarter of the city. The hotel is used to hosting such events, it is also the home to the city’s highly rated and much loved Blues/Rock Festival.
This new festival is set to take over the hotel for the weekend in May and make all of its 90 rooms available, at discounted rates, for exclusive Festival Package Deals which includes accommodation at the hotel.
The whole, fully indoor event, will focus around one main stage, a purpose-built construction situated in the magnificent hotel ballroom, ideal for the high-calibre acts which will be performing over the weekend and also for the viewing audience.
The Acts – 15 prominent UK Country acts over 3 days
It’s not just British fans that are growing in numbers: there’s also been a rise in UK country acts making waves, both here and in the US. The Carlisle Festival has secured a number of award winning acts for its inaugural event, names such as Robert Vincent, Kezia Gill, Stevie O’Connor, Elles Bailey, Backwoods Creek and Gasoline & Matches, all winners at recent British Country Music and Americana Awards, while other outfits such as the exciting Morganway and Raintown add to the quality to ensure it will be a top class weekend to remember.
Kezia Gill – “Kezia Gill is one of the most exciting artists to emerge on the British Country scene in recent years, and I’m sure we will be hearing much more from this very talented young lady” – BJ Thomas, CEO British CMA
Stevie O’Connor – Stevie is widely regarded as one of the best Male country artists the UK has ever produced. He was crowned the UK’s Country Entertainer of the Year, as well as being nominated for Male Artist, at the 2019 British Country Music Awards (BCMAs).
Gasoline & Matches – “One of the finest country acts in not just the West Midlands but the whole of the UK. Superb musicianship and gritty lyrical tales that always keep you wanting more!”
– Alex Noble, BBC Introducing
Robert Vincent – Robert Vincent is one of the most acclaimed new voices in UK Country/Americana. Having received the inaugural Emerging Artist Award in 2016 from Whispering Bob Harris, he was invited onto BBC’s ‘Old Grey Whistle Test’s ‘For One Night Only’. That performance marked a real breakthrough for Vincent, establishing him as one of the UK’s leading lights in Country/Americana and propelling him to #1 in the iTunes Country chart.
Morganway – Have built quite a name for themselves on the UK live circuit. They have already received accolades from Radio 2’s Whispering Bob Harris, swathes of recognition from the Country press, two nominations from the BCM Awards and more recently another for Best Live Act at the Independent Music Awards 2020.
The complete 2021 line up is:
- Backwoods Creek
- Elles Bailey
- Gareth Nugent
- Gasoline & Matches
- Katee Kross & The Amberjacks
- Kezia Gill Band
- Megan Louise Band
- Outlaw Orchestra
- Robbie Cavanagh
- Robert Vincent
- Stevie O’Connor Band
- Two Ways Home
- Zoee & Band
TICKET INFORMATION – Tickets Available from 1st September 2020
Day Tickets from £28.50
Full Weekend Ticket (Friday, Saturday & Sunday) tickets £92.50
Weekend Package Deals which include 2 nights luxury accommodation from £110pp plus weekend ticket
Booking forms for Package Deals which includes accommodation at the venue are available on the festival web site (for download) or from Email: [email protected]
COVID-19 – in the event of cancellation due to COVID-19 tickets will be fully refunded
Venue – The Crown & Mitre Hotel, English Street, Carlisle. CA3 8HZ
Telephone contact: Nick Westgarth (organiser): M – 07725 801582 T – 01228 409795