Thoughts On 2016 From A ‘Front Row Girl’

As another year comes to an end, I find myself reminiscing about an amazing year and wanted to jot down some simple thoughts about the things that made me smile. Thoughts from a Front Row Girl (as christened by Charlie Worsham).

I’ve seen 162 acts.
Visited 50 new venues.
Traveled more than nearly thirty thousand miles (including 3 trips to USA).
Had the joy of listening to more than 100 new CDs – apologies to all my neighbours who’ve had to listen to them as well, very loudly!
Bought 3 new cameras (although all this modern technology is wasted on me)!
Taken more than 5000 photos – my return ticket to relive the experiences.
Actually lost track of the amount of videos I’ve taken – note to self, must download them some time soon!
Got more than 50 CDs signed.

Despite all the traffic jams I got stuck in and the freezing cold weather I stood in for hours, it was worth every minute.

The best venue was St. Pancras Old Church where I had the joy of listening to, and meeting Will Hoge. To be followed by a Eurostar trip the next day to see him again in Belgium with some very good friends.

My surprises of the year were Sturgill Simpson, Anderson East and John Paul White – the measurement being that I just stood there at the end of the gigs with my mouth open and shivers going down my spine.

I had the joy of seeing Earth, Wind and Fire with Chicago in Florida followed by the sublime Jason Isbell and Josh Ritter. When I started the year walking the streets of New York in the freezing cold, little did I know what awaited me for the year.

Sadly, there were cancellations as well. Dierks blew us out in Manchester and let’s not even mention Brantley Gilbert!!

But UK country came into its own and I was there at the front of all the gigs supporting and cheering on our home grown talent, proud of them all and full of hope for the future for everyone of them. They did us proud even in front of some very small crowds. They were all recognised at the BCMA awards and I was proud to stand and cheer them all.

But the best thing about 2016…the amazing people and friends I met along the way. In the queue, at the bar, on the front row and in Camden market. Three of them are very special to me… You know who you are!!

I got to write articles about the gigs I’ve seen and to share my experiences with you, and was lucky enough to have them published. All part of supporting a very special project that I believe in and that will continue to fly in 2017!

As the year closes and I look back on all of the above it seems surreal. But it really happened and I loved every minute of it. Let’s be happy tonight in the anticipation of what’s coming next. My calendar is filling up already but the adventure lies in the things I don’t even yet know about!!

Happy New Year to all my country friends. I raise a glass to the music and hope for more of it next year.

(Writer – Jayne Scoffin)