Dixie Fields is a new boutique country music festival taking place in Chelmsford this summer. The event will be taking place across the weekend of 12-14 July on farmland bordering Hylands Park.
Headlining the festival will be the brilliant Lauren Alaina, and joining Lauren on the bill will be Holloway Road, Megan O’Neill and the Jackson Line.
Here we speak to organiser Georgie to discover more about the Dixie Fields Festival:
What was the inspiration behind organising the Dixie Fields festival?’
Dixie Fields all stemmed from an almost tongue in cheek conversation between myself and one of my brothers during which we decided that we would love to host a concert on the fields. The conversation then progressed to him suggesting I go away and work out if it would actually be something viable, so I did. I have loved country music for many years, so that was always my number one option, and I really believe it is beginning to flourish in the UK music scene so what a perfect way to get involved. Its absolutely a dream come true and an opportunity of a lifetime, so we just couldn’t pass it up!
What differentiates your festival from other Country Music festivals we have in the UK at the moment?
It’s amazing that there are now a few fantastic country-specific festivals with the longer-standing events such as Buckle & Boots and Nashville Meets London being joined by the fabulous Long Road and Black Deer festivals which really have set a seriously high standard to meet. Dixie Fields is a more compact event, with all of the main artists playing on one day only. The option to camp on both the Friday and Saturday nights gives it a more festival feel, and we are really aiming to encapsulate the friendly and inclusive atmosphere of the country music scene. With it being a slightly smaller scale than the Long Road and Black Deer, we will be able to keep it a more boutique, intimate affair. We are so proud of the talent we have in Essex that we want to showcase this and will be involving as many local acts as we can which will hopefully keep it close to the hearts of the local people too.
What is the overall vibe you are looking to create over the weekend?
One of the things I love most about country music is that everyone is so friendly! From the artists themselves, to the agents and the fans, everyone is just so lovely and genuinely have a great time. When I think of country music, I think of sitting on the back of a truck watching the sun go down drinking a beer, or cowboys sitting around a campfire chilling out with a couple of guitars, or families toasting marshmallows with music playing in the background. We want this relaxed and happy atmosphere to be the key to this weekend.
Can we expect Dixie Fields to be an annual event?
I absolutely hope so! We have definitely gone into Dixie Fields with a long term view, but of course it all depends on how it goes in year one!
Here at Belles and Gals we love that you have a female headliner, was that a conscious decision or did Lauren Alaina just fit into exactly what you were looking for?
It wasn’t a totally conscious decision to book Lauren, but then the more we thought about it, the more it just made total sense. She’s a lovely artist with a phenomenal voice who appeals to a huge range of people. She really ticks the “country” box – her winning the ACM New Female Vocalist of the Year award in 2018 follows an awe-inspiring list of female artists who have also won the award, such as Maren Morris, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift to name a few – yet she is current and relevant to many other people who are not so knowledgeable about country music due to her appearance on American Idol. She has great presence and stage-craft and basically she was the only artist who fitted so completely into what we were looking for!
You’ve announced several names so far, can fans expect more artists to be announced soon?
Yes absolutely. We are just finalising some additional acts and they will be released as and when they are signed and sealed, but I can tell you they are equally as exciting as those we have announced so far!
What can fans expect from their Dixie Fields experience?
Dixie Fields guests can essentially expect to make amazing memories! We hope everyone who attends the festival will love the atmosphere and will feel like they have had great value for money and been close to all the action and really involved in the heart of the festival.
Along with great music, what else can attendees expect to find at the festival?
We will be having a fairground at the festival, a shopping village, amazing American food and for those who are camping, we’ll have an open air cinema on the Friday night, campfire socials, acoustic sessions, and more going on that we can’t discuss just yet!
How do you feel the Dixie Fields festival will fit into the current live UK country scene?
The UK live country scene is flourishing and there are more and more live gigs going on around the county as well as across the country. Dixie Fields gives an opportunity for more people to enjoy what country music has to offer in a relaxed, accessible and affordable manner. It’s almost a stepping stone from a small intimate gig with a couple of acts, to a full blown three day festival – so in short, I feel it will fit in perfectly!
What would you say to anyone on the fence about attending?
If you are unsure, give it a try! Country music fans are really some of the loveliest people and the talent of the artists is just so true that even if you don’t know a great deal about the music itself, you are still sure to enjoy the weekend!
Tickets for Dixie Fields Festival are on sale now!