Musician and song-writing legend Graham Nash OBE has been announced as the headliner for The British Country Music Festival (1-3 Sept 2023), as he returns to the town of his birth to perform at the Winter Gardens Blackpool.
Nash, who rose to fame as a founding member of both the Hollies and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (CSNY), was awarded the “Legendary Spirit of Americana Free Speech in Music” award at Americana Fest in Nashville and the “Lifetime Achievement Award at the UK Americana Awards in 2017. Nash was inducted twice into the Songwriters Hall of Fame for his work with Crosby Stills & Nash.
Marina Blore, director of Lytham based production company Fit The Bill Ltd and promoter of The British Country Music Festival said: “This will be the first time that Graham Nash has performed in Blackpool as a solo artist. The last time was a member of The Hollies in 1967.”
She added: “Our festival celebrates UK song writing talent in country, Americana and all its sub genres. The North-West of England is known globally as the birthplace of some of the greatest songwriters the world has ever known. Graham Nash is one such legend and it is an honour to welcome him back to Blackpool to pay homage to him on home ground. It’s also rewarding to bring our West End theatre production skills back to our hometown and to contribute to Blackpool’s ongoing renaissance.”
The British Country Music Festival has established itself quickly on the independent festival circuit and generates almost 3,000 bed nights for Blackpool. It has a direct economic impact of £385,073, despite launching in 2019 and missing year two of the event due to Covid. Ticket buyers come from all four UK nations and the event is also attracting an international audience from across Europe and even as far as America.
The Festival continues to favour homegrown headliners, whilst providing a platform for UK grass roots artists to attract new fans, and in some cases move from support stages to main stage slots in subsequent years.
The Friday night headliner is Irish born country singer Donna Taggart. Global recognition of Donna’s talent beckoned in 2016 with the release of her hit song “Jealous of the Angels” from the album Celtic Lady 2. In just one week the song had surpassed 25 million plays online and went to Number 1 in the US Billboard World Album Catalogue for three weeks!
Empress Ballroom performances will include Megan McKenna, Simeon Hammond Dallas, Jade Helliwell and The Dunwells. Sunday’s headliner is yet to be announced. However, an already impressive lineup includes Robbie Cavanagh, New Zealand’s Kylie Price and Mercury Prize nominee and former front man of I Am Kloot, John Bramwell with his new band The Full Harmonic Convergence. He is releasing new music this year which festival goers will be the amongst the first to hear live.
With over 100 artists on four stages, the ever-popular Songwriters’ Carousel, and a wonderful array of established and emerging talent, this festival continues to be an exciting music discovery event, where the headliners of the future are found.