Country fans go wild for American idols

NewsBy Eddie Rowley
Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood

American superstar Carrie Underwood will tonight bring the curtain down on three spectacular days of country music at Dublin’s 3Arena.

The Country To Country festival has seen many of the biggest names in American country music joining forces to give Irish fans an unforgettable experience.

Up to 20,000 fans are flocking to the 3Arena for the opportunity of a lifetime to catch U.S. stars like Eric Church, Kacey Musgraves, Chris Stapleton, Miranda Lambert and Dwight Yoakam.

The Sunday World is also in the thick of the action, hosting a second stage in the 3Arena that features home-grown stars Mike Denver, Robert Mizzell, Lisa McHugh, Johnny Brady, Marc Roberts and John McNicholl.

The Irish stars have been dropping by to entertain fans with interviews and songs during breaks between all the action on the main stage.

Backstage on Friday evening, Sunday World guest Johnny Brady had his own fan moment when he bumped into one of his American country idols Chris Stapleton and his wife Morgane.

Chris Stapleton 

“I’m such a huge fan of Chris Stapleton as a songwriter and a singer that I could hardly speak when I met him,” Johnny said. 

“I kept telling him he was ‘awesome’ and that I’m a big fan. I felt like my young son on Christmas morning.”

Later, Johnny sang a set of his original songs on the Sunday World Stage before Stapleton’s performance. 

“That was pretty cool because now I can say that I opened for Christ Stapleton at the 3Arena,” he laughed.

Fans travelled from all from all corners of the country for the rare opportunity to see America’s finest performing live in Ireland this weekend. 

“I’ve bought tickets for all three nights because this is a country music fan’s dream,” Liz Nolan, from Co. Cork, said on Friday night. 

Singer-songwriter Marc Roberts also performed at the 3Arena on Friday before Kacey Musgraves’ set, giving fans a taste of the John Denver tribute show he’s been performing in Irish theatres.

Irish country king Mike Denver opened the show at the 3Arena yesterday evening and the consummate showman gave fans an unexpected treat with his lively set, before the American acts Miranda Lambert, Dwight Yoakam, Thomas Rhett and Ashley Monroe.

“It’s great to see the huge support for the Country to Country festival this weekend,” Mike said. “It shows the American artists how popular the country scene is in Ireland today.” 

Our country queen Lisa McHugh also brought glamour and glitz to the 3Arena last night when she performed for the fans before one of her own country idols, Miranda Lambert.

“I’m a big fan of Miranda Lambert and Ashley Monroe and had already booked my tickets for the show before I got the opportunity to perform,” Lisa said.
“This is such a great festival for fans to see all the big American acts.”

Kacey Musgraves 

Robert Mizzell and John McNicholl will join us on the Sunday World Stage this evening for some music and chat. Robert will be on stage shortly after doors open, so don’t miss him.

Carrie Underwood, Little Big Town, Sam Hunt and Maddie & Tae will perform on the main stage.