Today's the day Colombo gets 'Country' fever

Today is finally the day when Colombo goes ‘Country’ as the popular Country Roads concert now in its new format as a country music festival for the whole family gets underway at the Dutch Burgher Union Hall in Thunmulla, from 4.30 p.m. onwards. With contemporary international acts like the Mavericks of Germany and UK's Astrid Brook and Amelie Chevalier to Country Roads mainstays, local stars like Anno Domini, Mariazelle and the Country Revival Band with Noel, Ranjit & Kithsiri and newcomers Wagon Park, this year's concert has an exciting and diverse blend.

Featuring songs from Johnny Cash and B.B. King to the Eagles, Credence Clearwater Revival and Lynrd Skynrd, and possibly even some Bob Dylan thrown in, nostalgia-seekers looking to attend this popular annual festival are in for a treat. Tickets, meanwhile, priced at Rs. 500, are fast selling out with only about 20% still remaining at ticket sales locations at Cargills Food City outlets at Staples Street and Majestic City, and at the Dutch Burgher Union. There will also be a limited number of tickets offered at the gate.

While at first glance Country Roads is a nostalgic musical 'trip down memory lane' now turned country fair at its heart the event has, most importantly, raised millions of rupees over its 20 plus years for a number of children's charities. This year over 90% of all proceeds will go towards the very worthwhile national "Sevana Sarana Fund" for children's education, a cause recommended by long-time event partners Save the Children UK and further supported by the country's Department of Probation and Child Care Services.

Organisers of Country Roads, Sri Lanka's Country Music Foundation thanked main event partners Dialog and Cargills Food City for their long-time support, even during turbulent economic times, as well as the Dutch Burgher Union for hosting this outdoor fair and festival for the second year running. Also recognised were partner hotels Heritance Ahungalla, Hotel Sigiriya and Club Hotel Dolphin, for providing international artist accommodation and the Sunday Times, Prime TV and Prime Radio for promoting the event. Special recognition was also given to Sri Lanka Tourism for arranging the Mavericks to appear, all the way from Germany.

Additionally, the Country Music Foundation also highlighted the efforts of The Cinnamon Grand, Colombo, which is a long-time supporter of the Country Roads concert for children series and over the years has played host to popular performers the Mavericks from Germany and UK's Astrid Brook & Amelie Chevalier, as well as hosting them this year too for their stay in Colombo.

The event kicks off at 4.30 p.m. at the DBU (the Dutch Burgher Union Hall, 114 Reid Avenue, Colombo 04, adjoining the Thunmulla Junction.

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