London, United Kingdom – December 4, 2023 — Live Nation Entertainment and the prestigious Royal Albert Hall are thrilled to announce the return of the eagerly anticipated Highways Festival in 2024. Building on the resounding success of the inaugural edition in 2023, Highways 2024 is set to elevate the excitement over two unforgettable days, featuring a star-studded lineup of top Country and Americana artists headlined by Brett Young and The Cadillac Three and featuring Shane Smith & The Saints, Grammy-nominated The War & Treaty, Tanner Usrey, Josh Ross, BOWEN * YOUNG and William Prince.
Live Nation’s Vice President of Touring, Anna-Sophie Mertens says: “We are back! After a hugely successful inaugural edition, it fills me with great pride to bring to life Highways Festival for its second year alongside our partners at the Royal Albert Hall. And this time even bigger and better with two days of programming across the Country and Americana genre”.
Matthew Todd, Director of Programming and Engagement at the Royal Albert Hall, says: “We’re thrilled to welcome back Highways for a second year, for two days across our 153-year-old building. The Hall has a proud history promoting Country and Americana in the UK, from Johnny Cash to Kacey Musgraves, but what makes Highways especially exciting is the range of music for the audience, from family events and songwriting sessions in our smaller spaces to the incredible headline artists that light up the auditorium.”
Highways 2024 will once again ignite the heart of London and extend to two days of programming on Friday, May 17 and Saturday, May 18, 2024. This year’s extraordinary roster promises an unparalleled celebration of the full spectrum of Country and Americana genres.
The event will captivate attendees with its unique blend of intimacy and grandeur. The festival will immerse fans in the rich tapestry of Country and Americana music, as it takes over every corner of the Royal Albert Hall. From main-stage performances in the iconic auditorium to meticulously curated showcases within its intimate rooms and authentic culinary offerings that pairs exquisitely with soul-stirring music throughout the festival, Highways 2024 will bring the full country music experience to London against the breathtaking backdrop of the iconic Royal Albert Hall.
Back to host the main auditorium is Baylen Leonard, the vibrant voice of Absolute Radio Country’s Americana and Roots show, The Front Porch. A two-time CMA International Broadcaster of the Year, Baylen will guide the festival through its musical journey, celebrating the vibrant world of country music.
The Cadillac Three: “Touring the UK has always been special. Ever since our first trip over in 2013, the crowds have embraced us in a wonderful way. To headline the Royal Albert Hall during Highways is another check on the bucket list. We can’t wait to bring ‘The Years Go Fast’ to the UK! See y’all soon!”
Brett Young: “I always love getting to play for the fans in the UK but having the opportunity to perform at a venue as legendary as Royal Albert Hall during Highways 2024 is a real honor,” says Young. “We’re looking forward to headlining this exciting new festival.”
Auditorium line-up on Friday, May 17, 2024: The Cadillac Three Shane Smith & The Saints Tanner Usrey BOWEN * YOUNG
Auditorium line-up on Saturday, May 18, 2024: Brett Young The War & Treaty Josh Ross William Prince
In addition to the Auditorium performances, the event will once again feature carefully curated showcases as part of the festival:
Country for Kids is back again to kick off the second day of festivities. This family-friendly event is the perfect opportunity for children to let loose and express themselves in a relaxed environment, with no expectation to stay still or be quiet. Recommended for ages 4-11, but babies and budding musicians of all ages are welcome! Doors open at 9.30am, and the event runs 10am – 11am.
For those looking for a more intimate experience, the incredible Songwriter’s Round will return on Saturday afternoon. This event promises to be a musical masterpiece, with each artist taking turns to perform some of their favourite tracks acoustically, talking about the inspiration for their music and the stories behind their songs. Doors open at 2pm, and the event runs from 2.30pm – 4.30pm.
Each night after the main auditorium action concludes, the party is far from over! Attendees can keep the celebration going by joining us at the Official After Show Party. The event runs 11pm – 12:30am.
For those who just can’t get enough of the sweet sounds of Country and Americana, join us after the main show at the Late Night Special to cap each night with one more exclusive live performance, not to be missed! The event runs 11.30pm-12:30am.
Due to capacity restrictions, tickets to all additional events are sold separately. Line-ups to be announced.
Age restriction – All customers aged 14 years or below must be accompanied by an adult aged 18 years or over. All timings are subject to change.
Highways 2024 is guaranteed to be a standout event in the musical calendar. Dining, VIP & hospitality packages are available for purchase. Tickets for the festival will go on sale to the public on Friday, 08 December 2023, at 10 a.m. (GMT) and can be purchased at www.highwaysfestival.co.uk
About Brett Young
Brett Young, the “Caliville” sensation, has won over fans with his heartfelt lyrics and unique West Coast-Southern sound. He’s secured seven No. 1 hits, including “In Case You Didn’t Know” and “Lady,” establishing himself as a master of romantic country music. With two successful albums and a children’s book, “Love You, Little Lady,” Young’s creative talents know no bounds. His latest project, “Weekends Look A Little Different These Days,” features the hit “You Didn’t.” Boasting over 5.5 billion global streams and multiple award nominations, including ASCAP’s 2018 Country Songwriter-Artist of the Year, Young is hailed as “one of Country’s most consistent radio stars” by Rolling Stone.
About The Cadillac Three
The Cadillac Three, a Nashville trio consisting of Jaren Johnston, Neil Mason, and Kelby Ray, faced significant upheaval after releasing two albums in 2020. Their latest album, “The Years Go Fast,” reflects the impact of personal struggles, including the loss of Johnston’s father. Despite their reputation for brash country rock, the album reveals a newfound vulnerability, exploring themes of love and resilience. The trio’s sound has subtly evolved, embracing influences ranging from funk to metal. The album is a heartfelt journey through pain, love, and friendship, showcasing the band’s authenticity and refusal to conform to expectations.
About BOWEN * YOUNG
The dynamic duo formed by actress Clare Bowen and husband Brandon Robert Young, take center stage with their debut album, Us, a captivating journey through haunting and ethereal songs that define their genre, “Cinematic Americana.” Produced by Sean McConnell, the album is a live performance masterpiece, showcasing the couple’s mesmerizing harmonies and authentic lyrics. Clare, celebrated for her role as Scarlett O’Connor in Nashville, brings her radiant stage presence and empathic storytelling to sold-out crowds globally. Brandon, with a musical journey that includes touring with John Hiatt and collaborations with Grammy winners, complements Clare’s energy with his soulful performances. Their debut is not just an album; it’s a vibrant celebration of music that will resonate with audiences worldwide.
About Josh Ross
Josh Ross navigates the challenges of injuries, lockdowns, and tumultuous relationships, shaping his career with a modern twist on traditional country themes. Debuting independently with the emotionally charged “First Taste of Gone,” Ross gained significant traction in North America, signalling his emergence in the genre. Now signed to Universal Music Canada and managed by The Core Entertainment, Ross, known for drawing from personal experiences, boasts over 204 million streams across his songs. With hits like “On A Different Night” and “Trouble,” he earned recognition as one of Spotify’s Hot Country Artists To Watch 2023 and achieved a Top 5 Canadian radio hit. Currently on the road and set for future tours, Josh Ross solidifies his position as a promising new face in the country music scene.
About Shane Smith & The Saints
Texan trailblazers Shane Smith and the Saints redefine musical boundaries in their fourth studio album, “Norther.” Born from a decade of relentless touring, the album pulsates with the energy and camaraderie forged on stage. With three independent albums and over a thousand live performances, the band has solidified their career with a blue-collar work ethic, integrity, and an undying dedication to their passionate fan base. Shane Smith & The Saints, comprised of Shane Smith (acoustic guitar/lead vocals), Bennett Brown (fiddle), Dustin Schaefer (lead guitar), Chase Satterwhite (bass), and Zach Stover (drums), continue to push musical boundaries, epitomizing their distinctive sound and dynamic live performances in every note of “Norther.”
About Tanner Usrey
Guitar in hand and mic turned up loud, the tunes do the talking for Tanner Usrey. The Texas-born singer, songwriter, and guitarist pairs straight-shooting storytelling with country grit, rock ‘n’ roll energy, and Americana eloquence. As such, he channels a classic spirit from a personal perspective. Inspired by everyone from George Strait, Tom Petty, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Rolling Stones to his favourite band Whiskey Myers, he wrote countless songs and cut his teeth at gigs anywhere with a stage. In 2019, he unveiled the Medicine Man EP and in 2021, he released the SÕL Sessions EP. After piling up tens of millions of streams, packing hundreds of shows, and landing syncs on the likes of Yellowstone, “Take Me Home”, and Fire Country, “Beautiful Lies”. With Tanner’s bare-it-all approach to songwriting, his music might just say everything you need and more.
About The War & Treaty
Founded in 2014 by the husband-and-wife duo Michael Trotter Jr. and Tanya Trotter, The War And Treaty has quickly become a dynamic force in American music, celebrated for their unique sonic blend that The Tennessean describes as unlike any other act. Their major label debut album, Lover’s Game (Mercury Nashville), received critical acclaim, with the Associated Press noting the colossally talented pair’s no-limits journey to the top of the music world. Recognized as the 2022 Duo/Group of the Year by institutions like the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Hall of Fame, The War And Treaty has captivated audiences globally, sharing stages with legends such as Al Green, Brandi Carlile, and John Legend. For more information, visit www.thewarandtreaty.com.
About William Prince
William Prince’s songs eloquently blend wonder and humility, showcasing a masterful simplicity that navigates the personal and universal realms. With four albums, including his recent release Stand in the Joy, Prince’s discography reflects a remarkable journey from his award-winning debut, Earthly Days, to 2020’s dual releases, Reliever and Gospel First Nation. His rich voice and assured restraint offer timeless appeal amidst chaos. Collaborating with Canada’s esteemed artists, earning accolades like a JUNO Award, opening for Neil Young, and working with Grammy-winning producer Dave Cobb, Prince has rightfully claimed a national stage. As he readies for his next album, Prince embraces his current place with a journey well-traveled.
About Baylen Leonard
Baylen Leonard broadcasts six days a week on Absolute Radio Country, including his long-running Americana and Roots-focused show The Front Porch. He also fronts the popular Country Music Talk podcast interviewing the biggest names in country music.
Baylen is a two-time CMA International Broadcaster of the Year award winner and has become known for giving a diverse range of artists their first-ever UK radio play. Away from the mic he is Creative director of The Long Road Festival and Head of Music for Holler. A proud native Tennessean, he still says Y’all and Toe-MAY-toe, even though he’s lived in the UK for over 20 years.
ABOUT ABSOLUTE RADIO COUNTRY:
Absolute Radio Country is the UK’s most exciting country music station playing the biggest songs in country from legends such as Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash to superstars like Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban, alongside brand-new artists like Breland and Morgan Wade. Featuring presenters such as Baylen Leonard, Lou Nash, Una Healy and Ben Earle, the station is also home to the Nashville Show which comes direct from the Music City itself with Elaina D Smith.
Absolute Radio Country celebrates the vibrant and fast-growing genre, recognizing the huge influence the music style has over pop music. Listeners can find Absolute Radio Country on digital radio, ask their smart speaker to ‘Play Absolute Radio Country’, download the free Absolute Radio app, or go to absoluteradiocountry.co.uk.
ABOUT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL:
The Royal Albert Hall is the world’s most famous stage. Throughout its 152-year history, it has welcomed a who’s who of world-renowned figures: artists, athletes and activists. No other place on earth has played host to Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein and Muhammad Ali; Ella Fitzgerald, The Beatles and Adele. This was the Suffragettes’ “temple of liberty” – the site of Votes for Women rallies that helped change the course of British history – the home of the Stonewall concerts, and a place of celebration during Nelson Mandela’s state visit. But its eccentric history has also seen it used for a séance, an indoor marathon and the world’s first bodybuilding contest (judged by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle).
In an ordinary year, the Hall’s extraordinary auditorium presents around 400 world-class events: encompassing rock, pop and classical music, theatre, dance, films, Cirque du Soleil and sport. It typically welcomes 1.8 million visitors a year, while its 1,000 events in secondary spaces help to attract a young, diverse audience. Its Engagement programme includes music therapy, concerts in the community, and workshops with A-list artists, often in collaboration with other charities, such as Nordoff Robbins and Music for Youth.