The country music talent and the enjoyable entertainment is non-stop here in Tamworth NSW (Australia) this last week. Everyone is coming “out of the woodwork”, to find their favourite country music stars and discovering some newly-emerging talent. Singing and dancing are happening all around Tamworth at the moment. With over 300,000 music lovers, enjoying 700 performers, at 2800 events… there is so much for everyone to see and do. We are just over halfway through the festival, which ends on Sunday 27th January 2019.
As a last minute decision, I decided to allow myself some time-out to enjoy the Country Music Festival this year, especially now that I live only a half hour drive from Tamworth. The farm duties and office routines have all been put on hold (but we manage to fit the more urgent jobs in, around our social activities, which really is a rare occurrence for us). Since the drought has been so much of a burden this last year… it was time to let our hair down. Not only for my own sanity, but for my husband as well… we both needed some time-out and reminded ourselves of the healing ability that music induces. So here is a recap of what I have been up to and will also give you a few ideas for when you do attend the music festival.
Opening Concert in Toyota Park – Friday 18th January
As an invited VIP guest of Clipex Fencing, we attended the Opening Ceremony at Toyota Park. In a more private marquee setting we were provided with shade, seating, cold drinks and finger-food, whilst we watched and enjoyed the beautiful music from the CMAA Academy of Country Music students and tutors. As a bonus, we were able to meet and chat with Adam Harvey, the Clipex Brand Ambassador.
However, the concert in the park is a free event open to everyone, so you can just bring a chair and some drinks/snacks to enjoy the music anywhere in the park, then watch the spectacular fireworks. The opening concert was hosted by Felicity Urquhart.
“The Great Australian Round Up” Main Event & Rodeo – Saturday 19th January
This was a unique and exciting event introduced this year, with internationally renowned Guy McLean and his incredible stock horses, held at the Australian Equine & Livestock Events Centre (AELEC). This was a charity event to raise money for the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners and other vital rural services.
His extraordinary horsemanship skills absolutely amazed me. To see his performance, gives you a small sense of appreciation of the work this man puts into these beautiful horses, to train them to happily perform without bridles or leads. It is absolutely mind-blowing.
This was followed with some exciting rodeo action, with cowboys on bucking horses and bulls and cowgirls on their well-trained horses. My favourite part of the rodeo, was watching the young boys riding the mini bulls.
Darren Carr & Other Dummies – Sunday 20th January
OMG this was the funniest thing I have ever seen. Darren Carr is known as Australia’s #1 stand-up ventriloquist. With his natural comedy and cast of crazy characters, his performance is so hilariously entertaining. This was an amazing show held at the West Tamworth League Club.
Country Turns Pink – Sunday 20th January
This was a big concert… with big name Country Stars performing their well-loved songs, and introducing new and upcoming artists. It was hosted by comedian Darren Carr, with all proceeds going to the McGrath Foundation. This is an important charity raising money to fund McGrath Breast Care Nurses, who provide invaluable support and care to women and men experiencing breast cancer. The McGrath Breast Care Nurses bring peace of mind to many families, through their expert knowledge, personal care and genuine compassion.
I was passionate about attending this event, to not only show my support of the McGrath Foundation, but on a personal level as well. A good family friend of mine has just recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and undergone breast surgery only a week ago. The McGrath Foundation is a great cause and this event has raised over $119,000 over the last 4 years. Thank you to the country music artists that support this event and the venue West Tamworth League Club. We enjoyed music from artists such as Tania Kernaghan, Gina Jeffreys, Beccy Cole, Adam Harvey and Amber Lawrence.
Pete Denahy Comedy & Bluegrass – Tuesday 22nd January
We enjoyed Pete Denahy in this early morning show with plenty of laughter and great music from the bluegrass genre. We also enjoyed his other special guests with comedy performances and more bluegrass style music. This was a very relaxing show and free to members and guests of West Tamworth League Club. I really love the unique element that the double bass, fiddle and mandolin bring to this show.
Legends Long Lunch – Tuesday 22nd January
The stars of the show were Daniel Thompson, Mike Carr, Anthony Taylor and Luke Austen. Their interaction, their humour and their music talent, entertained us for several hours in a free show at West Tamworth League Club. We also enjoyed their “surprise” special guests joining them on stage to entertain us alongside them. My favourite part was Daniel Thompson singing “Johnny Cash” songs in his very low voice.
Buskers Street Performance – Wednesday 23rd January
There are a variety of buskers singing their hearts out right along Peel St as well as other entertainers and artists on stages throughout the CBD. A visit to the Tamworth Country Music Festival cannot happen without checking out the many buskers. This morning after my doctor visit in the centre of town, I had a quick wander along the main street to see and hear some of the buskers and visited a few street stalls. It really is a lovely atmosphere and worth seeing.
More to come…
With still 4 days to go and my sister visiting on the weekend, I will give you the rest of the recap next week (Part 2). If you are lucky enough to be attending this year’s music festival, I hope you enjoy the remaining few days. It is not too late to come to Tamworth, as there are still daily shows at all hours. Otherwise, please mark your calendar for next year.
This experience is worth it and I can guarantee, as a stressed-out farmer in need of something else, this has done the trick. My husband and I are both calmer, more relaxed, more focused to work and more capable to get on with our demanding everyday jobs on the farm. We are enjoying life again and that is an amazing feeling. And who better than to enjoy this experience with, but my favourite person in the whole world, my husband Peter.
For more information see Toyota Country Music Festival Tamworth 2019.
Take care, Karen.
“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
~ Berthold Auerbach, a German Poet & Author