BBC Radio 2 to broadcast from multiple locations for the Country to Country festival

BBC Radio 2 is going all-out once again this year for the Country to Country festival including a country countdown hosted by Scott Mills.

Programming over the next week will be broadcast from three venues – The 02 in London with Bob Harris and Alana Springsteen, Glasgow OVO Hydro with Edith Bowman and SSE Arena Belfast with Connor Phillips.

Brad Paisley, Conner Smith and Brooke Eden will be live on The Country Show with Bob Harris to preview the C2C event on  Thursday 7 March from 9pm.

There will be two programmes across the weekend presented by Bob Harris with co-host Alana Springsteen, plus Edith Bowman in Glasgow and Connor Phillips in Belfast (from 3-6pm on Saturday 9 March and 8-10pm on Sunday 10 March.

The Country Show with Bob Harris will feature highlights from the last night of the C2C Festival in London with live music and chats from Old Dominion, the Brothers Osborne, Elle King and Drake Milligan (9-10pm, Thursday 14 March)

And Radio 2 showcase in Belfast is to be broadcast as a one hour special on BBC Sounds on Monday 11 March.

Sunday 10 March (Midnight-2am) is when Scott Mills counts down the Top 30 most streamed Country songs of all time in a chart compiled by the Official Charts Company – compilers of the UK Official Chart and weekly Official Country Chart using audio and video streaming data from all major streaming services.

Scott Mills says: “I can’t wait to bring you this countdown of the greatest Country music hits as we celebrate the Country to Country festival on Radio 2.”

Bob Harris says: “This chart features some of my favourite tracks of all-time – the classics we love so much plus the brilliant collaborations with pop’s biggest stars.

“This April marks 25 years that I’ll have been presenting The Country Show on Radio 2 and I’m so excited to see the music I love on the crest of a new wave right now with so many major mainstream artists creating songs that celebrate the genre, alongside the Country icons and wonderful new artists whose music continues to inspire and enrich our lives.”

Jeff Smith, Radio 2’s Head of Music, says, “It’s so fantastic to see the most-streamed songs in this chart flying the flag for Country music, representing the biggest names from across the decades and including collaborations with major popstars such as Justin Bieber and P!nk.

“Country music is really at a tipping point right now with so many mainstream artists such as Beyoncé and Lana Del Rey embracing the genre with their new releases. Looking at this chart it’s easy to see how artists continue to be inspired by the genre – one which is so close to our hearts here at Radio 2 as we head into our coverage of C2C: Country to Country festival this weekend, as the event’s official broadcast partner.”

Spoiler alert – here are the Top 10 songs from The UK’s Official Country Countdown (with year of initial UK release)

  1. Meant to Be – Bebe Rexha ft. Florida Georgia Line (2018)
  2. 9 to 5 – Dolly Parton (1981)
  3. Take Me Home, Country Roads – John Denver (1971)
  4. Love Story – Taylor Swift (2009)
  5. Islands in the Stream – Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers (1983)
  6. The Gambler – Kenny Rogers (1978)
  7. Need You Now – Lady A (2010)
  8. Say Something – Justin Timberlake ft. Chris Stapleton (2018)
  9. Before He Cheats – Carrie Underwood (2006)
  10. Tennessee Whiskey – Chris Stapleton (2015)