If you remember, it was raining.
I was, if I recall correctly, staring out at a bleak hospital car park upon which it seemed the rain had been pouring continuously for a month. It hadn’t. It seldom is as long, but it felt as long or maybe from where I stood, a little longer.
The news was bad. Coronavirus was spreading and no one seemed to be able to make a decision about what we should all be doing about it. This was two years ago on the day before Country 2 Country 2020 was meant to be taking place. Within a few hours the festival and all our BBC events around it were cancelled.
So, despite all the current news, there is a part of me which is feeling good that we have passed through the waters and reached some kind of safe shore, even if we are all still a little shell shocked. We all have stories to tell of what we learned living through a pandemic, about how we changed and who we lost. As 10,000 of us gather to listen to some great country music this weekend in Glasgow, it may be that some of these stories will return as the songs hit home. The world is a different place now. We know things we certainly didn’t know two years ago and the songs we loved then may have new twists as we listen again.
On this week’s Another Country I’ll be telling you news about what our involvement in C2C will be. I’ll let you know live on this Tuesday’s show how you might be able to join us for our limited coverage. The good news is it looks likely we will be seeing each other at some point in the foyer of BBC’s HQ at Pacific Quay. It has, however, been an uphill task trying to pull all of this together despite Covid being less of a threat than it was a couple of months ago. Artists are naturally reluctant to break out of well maintained safety bubbles and the BBC building is still getting back on its feet after two years of all but essential staff working from home. So…keep your fingers crossed. If you don’t make it to see any of our events I hope you will join me at The Hydro, where I will again be introducing events from the stage.
This Tuesday night I’ll aim to remind you about how special C2C can be by introducing you to the lineup for this year’s festival. There are some great new artists coming to the Hydro as well as some country superstars. Listen out for tracks by Darius Rucker, Luke Combs, Ashley McBryde, Miranda Lambert and Tenille Townes. We’ll even have time to take you down a beautiful diversion of Guy Clark songs too.
It’s going to be a great Glasgow weekend and you can get yourself in the mood by joining me live on BBC Radio Scotland this Tuesday evening from five past eight.