I went to London yesterday, to see the first day of the annual C2C Country to Country music festival at the O2 Arena.
Country music is one of the many genres I love and play lots of on my radio show, and I wanted in on some of the action. I booked my ticket after making the decision to go late on Friday night.
It’s all the BBC’s fault: BBC Radio 2 Country opened as a pop-up DAB radio service this week, to coincide with the C2C event this year.
C2C is a two day festival, but on the basis that I’m working on Monday I got a ticket just for the Saturday. Unfortunately this meant I would miss out on seeing Lady Antebellum live, but the lineup still looked very good.
I travelled on the train after my show on Saturday morning (train travel… how awful! I prefer National Express but tickets had sold out so I could only get the coach going one way), and arrived at the venue at about lunchtime.
This gave me plenty of time for lunch, buying CDs, and watching some of the artists at the free pop-up stages (Sasha McVeigh and Sonia Leigh, on the stage near the entrance, both sounded excellent).
Then, it was time for the main event…
My seat was very high up. I was right at top, on level 4, in block 402. The arena looked enormous from where I was sitting!
It was really a show of two halves – Brandy Clark and Lee Ann Womack in the first half, keeping people entertained with some good country tunes… then Florida Georgia Line and Luke Bryan in the second half, with the volume levels up high and the crowd going crazy.
Florida Georgia Line opened their set with the raucous Every Night and barely turned the volume down from that point.Pip Ellwood – Entertainment Focus
Florida Georiga Line live review
Of the four, I was less keen on Florida Georgia Line (I’m not their biggest fan anyway). The strobe lighting effect for a start was EXTREMELY annoying.
Their set won’t have done my ears much good! Luke Bryan’s wouldn’t either – but I know his songs, and he played a wider variety – going from country rock to country pop, to just him and a piano – even making time for a bit of Lionel Richie. He really got the crowd singing a long too!
I took the above photo as Luke Bryan played my favourite of his songs, “Rain Is A Good Thing“.
After the encore finished at 22:30 I got the underground back to Victoria and caught the last coach of the day straight back to Gloucestershire, getting back home not long shortly after 02:30am.
This was my first year at C2C and I enjoyed it all (even if not all the music was to my taste – that’s all part of going to a festival really). Next year I hope to be able to do the festival properly and go on both days.
As I write I’m listening to this evening’s live performances on BBC Radio 2 Country. Looking forward to hearing Lady Antebellum a bit later!
Bye for now.