Country music is taking over the U.K. and Ireland. The Country Music Association has scheduled a diverse lineup of events, ranging from songwriter showcases to industry panels to stadium concerts March 14-16. Events for the weekend include the Second Annual CMA International Marketing Summit, CMA Songwriters Series, a special BBC songwriters show taping and two C2C (Country To Country) concerts at The O2 in both Dublin and London.
“The fans in this market are very enthusiastic and supportive of Country Music,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “Our artists are experiencing successful tours there and the business opportunities for the industry are obvious. Presenting the reach of the format, the caliber of our artistic community, and providing information about our consumer benefits everyone involved in Country Music.”
The CMA Songwriters Series, making its third trip to the U.K., kicks off the weekend’s events on Friday, March 14 at The O2’s IndigO2 in London. Hosted by Bob DiPiero, the evening of songs and the stories behind them features Martina McBride, Brett James and Striking Matches.
“C2C is proud to present the CMA Songwriters Series in London this year,” Milly Olykan, Senior Event Producer at The O2 and a member of the CMA Board of Directors, said. “The Series provides music lovers with a unique opportunity to learn the backstory of how a song is written and brought to life. Having Martina McBride appear at both the Songwriters Series and the following day perform at C2C will give UK fans a real appreciation of an artist’s relationship with a song from its origins through to performing it live to thousands.”
“It has been amazing to see the CMA Songwriters Series accepted in the U.K.,” Bob DiPiero said. “The fans voted with their feet and are now spreading the word on these one-of-a-kind shows. To have the third year of this series be part of the Country O2 Festival is awesome. I’d like to think these shows have been the advance team for what is becoming something great between Country Music and England.”
Following the success of Country to Country (C2C) 2013, the festival returns for a two-day music festival at The O2 London on Saturday and Sunday, March 15 and 16. Also for the very first time C2C is going to Ireland on Friday and Saturday, March 14 and 15 at The O2, Dublin. Brad Paisley and Zac Brown Band will headline the festival. Dixie Chicks, who will be performing in the U.K. for the first time in eight years, Rascal Flatts, Dierks Bentley, Chris Young and and Martina McBride will also perform.
On Saturday, March 15, CMA will present two panel discussions at C2C featuring songwriters and music executives in the British Music Experience at The O2, London. Attendees will hear about what it takes to be a successful songwriter and panelists will explore the steps to hit-making. And then, on Monday, March 17, CMA will host its Second Annual CMA International Marketing Summit at the British Music Experience at The O2 in London.
The summit will feature a full day of presentations and interactive panels. Music industry experts from the U.S. and U.K. will discuss ways to capitalize on the worldwide power of Country Music followed by a reception at The Media Café in the BBC’s New Broadcasting House and performance of the CMA Songwriters Series.
“CMA’s International Marketing Summit is an educational, networking event that allows members of the Country Music industry and other industries to interact, expand, and create new business opportunities,” said Sarah Trahern. “With informative and educational panels, and amazing keynotes, it is an event that we are very proud to bring to London for the first time.”