Love the USA, but can’t afford a holiday to the Land of Liberty this year? Never fear, 2019 brings a whole host of American festivals and themed events to the UK. And they’re quite a bit cheaper than forking out for a plane ticket across the Atlantic. Here are some of the best Americana, country music and vintage festivals and American inspired events happening this side of the pond in 2019.
29 – 30 January – AmericanaFestUK, Hackney
For just £30, you can enjoy two nights of Americana music at five venues, all within walking distance of each other in East London. You’ll get a wrist band that gets you into all events, with the line-up featuring the likes of Sam Lewis, Gangstagrass, CoCo and the Butterfields, and more!
8-9 March 2019 – C2C: Country to Country, London, Dublin and Glasgow
C2C is Europe’s largest country music festival across of the UK’s best three cities. Its three days of some of Nashville’s and Europe’s most famous artists, with Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban and Chris Stapleton all headlining this year.
1 and 2 June 2019 – American Speedfest, Brands hatch
I love Speedfest! Where else can you see life-size, working models of Cars characters (including Mr The King!), take part in hot dog eating competitions and drive an American truck, all in one weekend? Oh, and there’s quite a bit of racing given that the event’s held at one of the best race tracks in the UK, including the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. This is a family-friendly American festival with optional camping, with ticket options for the weekend or just one day.
5-7 July – Maverick Festival, Suffolk
Promoting itself as the ‘UK’s first and finest Americana music festival’, Maverick offers films, workshops and music performances across three days at Easton Farm Park in the Suffolk countryside. The event made it onto the Sunday Times’ Top Forty Festivals list in 2016, with this year’s line-up to be announced soon.
12 – 14 July 2019 - The Route 66 Show, Hurn Bridge Show Ground, Parley, Christchurch
Brand new for 2019, The Route 66 Show promises cars, bikes, music, food and family entertainment at the South West’s Hurn Bridge Show Ground. Aside from featuring an American/custom car marquee, the Route 66 theme seems to be more in name than the event’s content, but it looks like a fun car show to spend a weekend at nevertheless.
27 – 28 July 2019 – Atomic Festival, Sywell Aerodrome, Northants
A soapbox derby, American classic cars, free jive classes, music and vintage shopping, Atomic Festival has everything you need to take you back to the 1950s. This vintage festival has a distinctly retro Americana feel and features drag racing, a funfair, rockabilly make overs and more. Weekend tickets let you pitch your tent at no extra cost, or you could try glamping from £25 per person per night in addition to your entry fee.
6 – 8 September – The Long Road, Stanford Hall, Leicestershire
Last year’s line-up for The Long Road country festival included the likes of Ward Thomas, Billy Bragg and The Shires. This year’s headliners haven’t yet been announced but you can expect more music, cars, American music and family entertainment. You can even bring your dog (provided it behaves itself)!
Saturday 2 November 2019 – Illinois Route 66 Regent Street Motor Show, London
I had a great time hitting up the Capital at last year’s Illinois Route 66 Regent Street Motor Show, the UK’s largest free to view car event. It’s back again next year with more vintage automobiles from the UK and USA. It’s not clear yet whether the show will be sponsored by the Illinois Office of Tourism again, but fingers’ crossed; last year’s event featured a great selection of classic American cars and some great advice on travelling Route 66 through the Prairie State. Check out my review of the 2018 event before you go.
14 – 18 November 2019 - The Rhythm Riot, Sussex
The Rhythm Riot bills itself as the UK’s biggest and best Rhythm and Blues, and Roots Rock’n’Roll weekend. The event is a whole lotta of rockabilly and Americana, from vintage shopping and music to classic car cruises and Hollywood photo shoots.
Know of another Americana event or American festival in the UK in 2019? Leave me a comment and I’ll add it to the list.