Country music is on the rise in the UK, there’s no disputing it. We’ve got increasing numbers at C2C every year, new festivals popping up over the summer, more bands travelling from the states to tour the UK and Europe, and a surge of UK based country bands.

And with the emergence of these new bands comes more nights at smaller venues all showcasing UK talent. We’re getting to the point where, if you wanted to, you could go to a live country music event almost every night of the week. We’re truly spoilt for choice.

The problem is with all this live music it’s so tempting to save your pennies for tickets to the big shows. And don’t get me wrong we all get massive FOMO when it comes to the big name artists coming from Nashville. I hate it as much as the next person if I can’t make it to see Little Big Town/Brad/Zack/Lady A (delete as appropriate). But here is the simple argument for why we should also be investing time and money in to the emerging UK country artists…

For every Catherine McGrath or The Shires there’s hundreds, if not thousands, of other bands and artists touring the UK in their own cars, driving hundreds of miles to play gigs that barely pay the petrol. These guys are working extra jobs to save up to record their first EP which they’ll self-promote. They do their own artwork, their own PR, their own gig bookings, the works. And they play their hearts out.

Whilst we claim we are building our own Nashville we still have a long way to come with regards to the infrastructure behind the music. So if you are a UK based country music artist and you don’t have Sony or Warners behind you it is a hard journey you’re on.

It is YOU, the fans, that will change this.

Turn up to the gigs. Buy the merch. Follow them on socials. Boost their profile. Stream the sh!t out of their songs. If we make enough noise about the unbelievable talent we have here then the industry has to listen, not just in the UK but globally.

We have some incredibly talented artists out there. Let’s help them be heard.