We're taking you inside the homes of some of our favourite stars to raise money for vital charities.
The sights and sounds of Nashville are coming to Leicestershire this September thanks to The Long Road. This new three-day camping festival is bringing over 50 artists from across the country music spectrum to the gorgeous grounds of Stanford Hall.
The line-up for The Long Road comes from both sides of the pond. Featuring Carrie Underwood, Ward Thomas, Billy Bragg, Lee Ann Womack, The Shires and many more, it’s sure to be one heck of a party.
Along with listening to great live music, you’ll be able to tuck into some incredible down-home cookin’, learn new crafts at workshops and take a dip in the lake. Kids will find their own music and brilliant fun in Lil Possum County. Plus, expect a good ol’ time from late at night to the wee hours of the morning at the Honky Tonk bar.
Here we’ve rounded up everything you need to know ahead of the festival’s launch.
When is The Long Road?
The first edition of The Long Road is set for 7 – 9 September 2018. It’s the perfect chance to enjoy a last hurrah of festival season before summer comes to an end.
Where is the festival site?
The Long Road is being held on 700 acres smack dab in the heart of the English countryside. Located in the town of Lutterworth near Stanford-on-Avon, the grounds of stately Stanford Hall are truly tranquil. There are majestic trees and rolling pastures, as well as the remains of ancient buildings – all of which will provide a picturesque backdrop for the inaugural festival.
Who’s playing The Long Road?
From big name artists and rising stars to everyone in between, The Long Road festival will celebrate all facets of country music. Featuring five different stages, you’ll be able to hear country, bluegrass, roots, Americana and much more.
Leading the bill is blonde bombshell and vocal powerhouse Carrie Underwood. The stunning Oklahoma native recently stole the show at the 2018 CMT Music Awards, where she holds the title of most wins. Underwood accepted her 18th trophy there for Female Video of the Year thanks to her collaboration with Ludacris on The Champion. She’ll be releasing her sixth studio album, Cry Pretty, a few days after her appearance at The Long Road. What’s more, Underwood just announced she’s pregnant with baby No.2.
Hailing from Texas, veteran singer-songwriter Lee Ann Womack is heading to The Long Road. Known for her evocative soprano, she has more than two decades in the business and eight critically acclaimed studio albums under her belt, with the latest being 2017’s The Lonely, The Lonesome & The Gone. Hear her perform newer tracks along with chart-topping hits like I Hope You Dance and I’ll Think of a Reason Later.
There’ll be plenty of homegrown music acts at The Long Road too. Enjoy acclaimed singer-songwriter Billy Bragg’s unique sound: a blend of folk and punk rock with lyrics that often touch upon political themes. He won a 2018 Ivor Novella Award earlier this year in recognition of his outstanding contribution to British music.
Country duo The Shires, made up of Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes, are currently the UK’s bestselling country act. Formed in 2013, they’ve now racked up three Top 10 albums – Brave, My Universe and Accidentally on Purpose. The Shires are also the first ever English country act to be signed to a major Nashville label.
Other featured performers at The Long Road include UK country-pop duo Ward Thomas, multi platinum-selling Kentuckian singer Angaleena Presley, Irish pop star-turned-country music artist Una Healy and Texan singer Danielle Bradbery, who recently teamed up with Thomas Rhett to release the hit duet Goodbye Summer.
Check out the full line-up for The Long Road below:
What else can I do at The Long Road?
The festival grounds will be divided into counties – each boasting different themes, stages and activities. Rhinestone County is home to the main stage. Crossroad County will feature a melting pot of country music genres as well as the iconic Honky Tonk, where you can dance and party the night away. At Fair County discover the Front Porch Showcases spotlighting emerging local talent and an assortment of vintage fun fair rides. The classic summer camp-inspired Lil Possum County is being designed especially for kids.
And that’s not all! There’ll be yoga, line dancing, lake swimming, storytelling and marshmallow roasting. Throw in Q&As (with both artists and songwriters), the Big Ol’ Quiz and fireside sing-alongs, and you’ve got a shindig like no other.
And what’s this about spoon whittling?
Yep, you read that correctly. At The Long Road, you can learn new crafts through a variety of workshops led by artisans. Along with stone masonry and silversmithing, there’ll be programmes on survival skills, leather design and jewellery making. Green wood worker Edward Clark is also going to show festival goers how to carve and whittle spoons.
What can I eat at The Long Road?
You’ll have the chance to feast on some Southern culinary classics and a smorgasbord of deep-fried goodness at The Long Road. Think smoked meats, chilli and artisan hot dogs.
Smokey Tails will serve up its home-style BBQ flavours from a three-generation-old family recipe book. Savour the tastes of Cajun and Creole cooking at Vudu Food. Slingin’ Po’ Boys will have traditional New Orleans po’ boy sandwiches, which are stuffed till they spill out onto your hands…in other words, finger-lickin’ good!
There’ll be plenty of comfort foods here too, like mac ’n’ cheese – and what’s not to love about this creamy, melt-in-your-mouth delight?
Plus, you can knock all this good stuff back with beer, moonshine and bourbon.
How do I get there?
It’s easy to access Stanford Hall by train, bus, taxi or car. The closest train station is Rugby, and then it’s a 20-minute shuttle ride to the festival grounds.
Big Green Coach has partnered with The Long Road and will be offering transport from seven pickup points across the UK direct to the festival’s gates.
If you’re travelling by taxi simply use the post code LE17 6DH. A taxi rank will also be available on site.
By car, The Long Road is approximately 90 miles northeast of London. Take the M1 to Lutterworth, and follow the directional road signage to festival parking.
Tickets for The Long Road festival on 7 – 9 September 2018 are available now at Ticketmaster.co.uk.
All photos courtesy of The Long Road