The British Country Music Festival has announced the first artist for its 2024 festival.
Multi award-winning singer-songwriter Kezia Gill has been announced as the Friday night headliner at The British Country Music Festival (TBCMF) in Blackpool (30 Aug-1 Sept).
Since launching in 2019, TBCMF has been a huge supporter of Kezia, and as the festival has continued to grow, so has her career. Kezia moves from previous performances on support stages at the event, to take the headline slot in the Empress Ballroom at the resorts indoor Winter Gardens. She follows in the footsteps of The Rolling Stones, Oasis and Ed Sheeran to perform on the same iconic stage.
TBCMF promoter Martin Blore explained: “The reason we launched the festival was to provide a platform primarily for UK singer-songwriters of country, Americana and their sub genres. It has been a joy to watch Kezia’s growth in the industry. He added: “2024 is a special celebratory year for the festival where we will see UK and international artists unite. Too often UK artists are overlooked in favour of their American counterparts, so we are delighted to endorse Kezia Gill’s rightful place as our Friday night headliner.”
Born in Nottingham to a large musical family of Irish decent, Kezia has a unique sound, pulling influences from a wide range of genres including folk, Irish, country, rock and blues. Championed by Bob Harris, her music has been regularly aired on BBC Radio 2, she has opened for Tony Hadley and The Shires on their UK tours, and her fanbase has grown exponentially.
Kezia sold out 12 dates on her own headline tour and the release of her critically acclaimed album ‘Misfit’ is sure to see fans flocking to Blackpool. She will also be hosting her podcast “Do You Know Any Oasis’ live from the festival, alongside her best friend and co-host, country singer Jade Helliwell. The event will be exclusively for VIP ticket holders on the Friday night.
Kezia Gill is one of the UK’s leading ladies of the new British country/country rock movement and it’s only a matter of time before promoters across the pond welcome her to their main stage line-ups alongside American headline artists.
On the announcement Kezia Gill said: “I am thrilled to be headlining The British Country Music Festival with my band. I have always loved the ethos of the event, the way it provides a platform for homegrown singer-songwriters and the promotion of country and Americana music in its broadest sense. We have a very exciting performance planned and I cannot wait to rock the Empress Ballroom!”
Celebrating its fifth anniversary in 2024, The British Country Music Festival has established itself as a ground-breaking event in the independent festival sector, bringing emerging and established UK singer-songwriters to a new audience. Previous headliners include the legendary Graham Nash, Grammy award winning Amy Wadge, and Ward Thomas, referred to as Britain’s first country stars. Support artist
performances at the event have resulted in new, song-writing collaborations and support slots on national tours and amongst musicians it is known as a great networking event for the industry.
According to the Country Music Association, streaming of country stars in the UK has risen by almost 50%. Homegrown singer-songwriters in the genre have established a new British country sound that is appealing to a new younger audience. Gone are the references to wide open plains and cowboys, to be replaced with lyrics that refer to life in the UK with mentions of pubs, the seaside and green fields! For many, the American country and western drawl has been replaced by a softer pronunciation of lyrics as adopted by the pop world and for a minority, an even more English, Ed Sheeran style enunciation.
There is no doubt that country and Americana music in the United Kingdom is attracting a whole new audience and independent promoters delivering The British Country Music Festival are providing exciting, contemporary artists for a genre that is one of the fastest growing in the UK.
The British Country Music Festival will be announcing more artists soon. For tickets visit The British Country Music Festival.