BBC to launch pop-up country music radio station

A digital extension to BBC Radio 2 will launch in March playing nothing but country music.

The pop-up service has just been announced by Chris Evans on BBC Radio 2, launching on 5th March and running till 8 March (midday to midnight). It will include a range of specially commissioned programmes and guest presenters from the world of Country music, brand new and archive documentaries as well as live broadcasts.

The first show will be Welcome to BBC Radio 2 Country with Bob Harris (Thursday 5 March, midday-1pm) – in which Radio 2’s face of Country music will preview what listeners can expect to hear across the service.

Programming highlights across the four days include Suzy Bogguss’ Classic Country (Thursday 5 March, 3pm-4pm), Ricky Ross on Celtic Roots from BBC Scotland (Thursday 5 March, 11pm-midnight), Baylen Leonard’s Bro Country (Friday 6 March, 8pm-9pm), Simon Mayo’s Big Screen Country (Friday 6 March, 4pm-5pm), Steve Wright’s Country Love Songs (Sunday 8 March, midday-1pm); and a major exclusive as Patrick Kielty meets Garth Brooks (Thursday 5 March, 4pm-5pm).

The service will broadcast live coverage of the country music festival C2C: Country to Country from London’s O2 on Saturday 7 March and Sunday 8 March from 4pm to 11pm/10.30pm. Radio 2 Country will broadcast live performances from Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Lee Ann Womack and Brandy Clark on Saturday, and Lady Antebellum, Jason Aldean, Brantley Gilbert and Kip Moore on Sunday.

BBC Radio 2 Country (@Radio2Country) will be the second DAB pop-up service from Radio 2 following last year’s Eurovision Song Contest digital pop-up network.

Radio 2 Editor for Specialist Music, Al Booth, comments: “We are at one of the most exciting times for Country music in the UK with its popularity growing each year. We’re thrilled to bring a bit of Nashville to the BBC and offer music fans the opportunity to indulge in their love of Country music for four days in March.”

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