Country and Americana stars from around the world lit up the Leicestershire countryside over the weekend as the very first edition of The Long Road festival took place at Stanford Hall in Lutterworth. The first immersive UK country music and lifestyle event to launch for many years, the festival was a resounding success with performances from over 70 artists and 10,000 music fans in attendance across the weekend.
Curated by broadcaster and country specialist Baylen Leonard, the festival presented one of the UK’s largest, most authentic celebrations of country, Americana and roots music featuring sets from an array of acts including chart-topping British country duos The Shires and Ward Thomas, Texas royalty Aaron Watson, acclaimed singer-songwriter Billy Bragg, US star Lee Ann Womack, winner of The Voice USA Danielle Bradberry and former Saturdays singer Una Healy.
The grounds of Stanford Hall stately home were transformed into an authentic country music world featuring the Nashville-inspired Honky Tonk Bar and Front Porch performance spaces and themed activities including Moonshine and bourbon tasting, instrument and songwriters’ rounds, wild swimming, car show, a Southern-inspired food & shopping village and much more.
Alongside teaming with BBC Music Introducing, who hosted their own stage presented by BBC Radio 2’s Bob Harris, the festival partnered with a carefully selected pool of specialist country and Americana organisations including The Birthplace of Country Music, The Bluegrass Situation (BGS), The Americana Music Association UK, and independent UK label Loose Records.
“The Long Road Festival was an amazing experience and we’re so proud to have headlined the very first event. Something truly special has been created here and we hope we’re invited back!”
BBC Radio 2’s Bob Harris:
“It’s really wonderful that we’ve welcomed a brand new Country, Americana and Roots festival to the UK, particularly one of the calibre of The Long Road. The music across the weekend was superb, the attention to detail in terms of the setup and staging was really impressive and the atmosphere was amazing. I don’t think there’s any doubt that it’s going to become a permanent fixture on the festival calendar.”
The festival will return 6-8 September 2019 and advance Early Bird tickets will go on sale this month.