Hillbilly music, later referred to as country, originated in the 19th century in the Appalachian Mountains and Deep South of the United States. European immigrants, helped introduce its forms and instrumentation. It makes sense that Europe would have a flourishing country music scene and, as a result, the continent offers country music fans a variety of festivals every year.
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Internationales Country Music Festival
The Internationales Country Music Festival, held in Zurich, Switzerland, is the only 38-day country festival in the world, starting at the end of January and concluding in the middle of March. The festival features country music artists from all over the world. The 2010 line-up includes Ray Fein & The Blue Flagship from the United States, Johnny Reid & Band from Canada, Nathan Carter & Band from Ireland and many artists from Switzerland. The festival offers a large menu of food, including steaks, barbecue chicken, wine and desserts. On Sundays, it offers American style breakfast.
Schützenhaus Albisgütli Event Center Uetlibergstrasse 341 8045 Zurich Switzerland 043-333-3000 albisguetli.ch
Mirande Country Music Festival
The Mirande Country Music Festival is a six-day festival held in Mirande, France, and claims to be the first country music festival in Europe. Every July since 1993, the town has offered country music, hot-air balloon flights, Western dancing and a multitude of family-friendly activities. Approximately 165,000 people attended in 2005. Hosted by the Mirande Country Music Association, the festival offers 80 different performances by performers from around the globe. The 2010 line-up includes Jimmy Deveney from the United States, Billy Curtis from the United Kingdom and many French artists. Festival goers can visit any one of the festivals' 200 stands for Western clothing and food.
Association Country Music Mirande BP 47 32300 Mirande France 089-268-3032 country-musique.com
Festival Country Rendez-Vous de Craponne
The Festival Country Rendez-Vous de Craponne is held over three days in July in Craponne sur Arzon at a natural amphitheatre in the mountains of central France. Approximately 35,000 people attend the festival annually for "New Country, Bluegrass, Americana, Honky Tonk, Western Swing, Cajun, Tex-Mex, Old Time, Rockabilly, Alternative, Insurgent, Red Dirt, Hillbilly, Texas Swing and a whole lot more." The festival draws artists from the United States and Europe. Notable artists that have appeared at the festival include Steve Earle, Bill Monroe, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Jo Dee Messina, Dierks Bentley and Jack Ingram.
Festival Country Rendez-Vous 6 Place Croix de Carle 43500 Craponne sur Arzon France 3347-103-2552
Towerfest Country Music Festival
Held over three days in June in North Yorkshire, England, Towerfest is "a line dance and country music spectacular" according to its website. 2010 performers include The Hanks, The Wanderers, Settlers Creek and Bobby D. Sawyer. The Festival Field Drax Sports and Social Club is the site for this festival, which also offers a variety of trade stands and 110 sites for camping.
SamandDance Ltd 8 Gray Street Goole North Humberside DN14 6EG England 0140-576-1805 towerfest.co.uk
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