I took place in a world breaking line-dance with one of my sons way back at Tamworth, my very first line-dancing experience! There is a great sense of community throughout festival time with something always going on up and down the the main street. The standard of musicians is first-class and it is exciting to see all the new talent on display We have spent a lot of time attending festivals over the years and Tamworth is right up there with the best. Ed Kevin Parker
The Tamworth Country Music Festival is a legendary annual event that has become the heart and soul of country music in Australia. As the largest country music festival in the country, it draws thousands of fans, artists, and enthusiasts from around the world. This article explores the festival’s history, location, mission, and some of its unforgettable moments.
The Festival was founded in 1973 and has since evolved into a beloved cultural institution. It was initiated by the Tamworth Chamber of Commerce as a way to boost tourism during the slower summer months in Tamworth, New South Wales. Over the years, it has grown in stature and now stands as one of the most significant events in the country music calendar.
When and Where?
Tamworth, NSW, often referred to as the “Country Music Capital of Australia,” serves as the perfect backdrop for this festival. The city comes alive with the sounds of country music, as various venues throughout the town host performances, street entertainment, and buskers. The Tamworth Country Music Festival typically takes place in January, filling the town with the sounds of country music for ten days. This timing allows for warm summer weather, making it the ideal setting for outdoor performances and street entertainment.
Who and What?
Over the years, the festival has seen an impressive array of events, artists, and performances that have left an indelible mark on the country music scene. Some notable highlights include:
International and Local Acts: The festival attracts a mix of international and local country music acts,
Some of the leading musicians who have regularly performed at the festival include Kasey Chambers, Troy Cassar-Daley, Lee Kernaghan, John Williamson, and Colin Buchanan1. The late Slim Dusty was also a regular at the festival. Additionally, the festival has been noted as the launching platform for the careers of artists like Keith Urban and Kasey Chambers1.
In the 2024 lineup, artists such as Beccy Cole, Fanny Lumsden, Felicity Urquhart & Josh Cunningham, and Shane Nicholson have been mentioned as part of the program. The festival is not only the largest music festival in Australia but also ranks among the top music festivals globally. It’s held in the New England region of New South Wales, in the inland city of Tamworth.
Toyota Star Maker: This prestigious talent quest has helped launch the careers of numerous Australian country music stars, including Keith Urban and Lee Kernaghan.
Golden Guitar Awards: The festival hosts the prestigious Golden Guitar Awards, celebrating excellence in country music recording and performance.
Street Performers and Buskers: The streets of Tamworth come alive with street entertainment, where buskers and performers create a vibrant atmosphere throughout the festival.
For the most up-to-date information about the Tamworth Country Music Festival, please visit the official website and Facebook page:
- Official Website: Tamworth Country Music Festival Official Website
- Facebook Page: Tamworth Country Music Festival Facebook Page
- Celebrating Country Music: At its heart, the festival is dedicated to celebrating country music in all its forms, from traditional to contemporary. It provides a platform for emerging and established artists to showcase their talents.
- Fostering Community and Culture: The festival brings together people of all ages and backgrounds who share a passion for country music. It fosters a sense of community and cultural connection among festivalgoers.
- Supporting Emerging Talent: Tamworth’s renowned talent quest, the Toyota Star Maker, is a highlight of the festival, offering emerging artists the chance to kick-start their careers and gain valuable exposure.
- Economic Impact: The festival significantly boosts the local economy by attracting visitors and providing opportunities for businesses to thrive, particularly those in the hospitality and tourism sectors.