BBC CountryFile Live hosted its third annual event this year at Bleinhem Palace, Oxfordshire. It was also CountryFile’s 30th Anniversary.
The event has grown from strength to strength each year and has grown in size too. This year saw the addition of The Summer Party which was held in the main arena after all the days festivities had closed. The Summer Party included live music from UK duo Ferris and Sylvester, Newton Faulkner and The Shires as headliners with Bob Harris as host.
Tickets for the Summer Party could be bought separately from the day time events and day ticket holders get a percentage off of the evening tickets.
Held in a fenced off area, the arena had a small variety of stalls for food, drink and merchandise. My only recommendation would be to have more variety of non alcoholic drinks, perhaps a milkshake/smoothie/fruit juice stall as there were many children there and really only fizzy drinks available. This of course was only inside The Summer Party as the Countryfile Live event itself had much more choice.
The queues were very long before they let people in. Eager fans were excitable and as soon as they were allowed in, they made a run for the front barrier of the stage. Scattered around the sides of the arena were hay bales for people to sit on. The atmosphere was warm, friendly and very family orientated.
Bob Harris took to the stage to introduce first act Ferris and Sylvester who are a UK folk/country duo from Streatham. Issy Ferris and Archie Sylvester “wowed” the crowd with their electrifying music and stunning vocals. The pair gained a lot of new fans and set the bar pretty high. Full review of Ferris and Sylvester here.
Next up was singer/songwriter Newton Faulkner who has been high up in the music scene for a number of years. Playing tracks from album Hand Built By Robots and beyond , Faulkner proved why he has had such a successful career as his music was not just beautiful but the live versions were exceptionally good. The crowd took to Faulkner incredibly well and there is no doubt he will now be on their radar if wasn’t already. Full review of Newton Faulkner here
Closing the night was UK Country duo that we have come to know so well The Shires. Ben and Crissie who make up The Shires, never disappoint live and their on stage chemistry and crowd interaction is always good fun. With absolutely gorgeous vocals, Crissie blew the audience away with her performance of Daddy’s Little Girl and the pair delivered fantastically fun performances of upbeat songs such as Guilty, Tonight, A Thousand Hallelujahs and more. The Shires were even joined by Matt Baker from The One Show for their song A River of Love which was brilliant, especially seeing as they didn’t rehearse. Full review of The Shires here.
I found that the Summer Party was a brilliant addition to CountryFile Live and I sincerely hope that they continue to have this party every year. A perfect way to either wind down or to keep up the high spirits of a fun day out, this was a truly fantastic evening and I didn’t want to to end. If the organisers continue to book artists that will appeal to families and all fans of music, then it can’t go wrong. Country music is really rising here in the UK and it was emotional to see just how far not only the genre has come but The Shires especially as we wouldn’t be this site without them.
Here is to next year, do come along, it isn’t too hard to get to, parking is easy and it is such a nice day and evening out so do come along for the entire event.