Tamworth Country Music Festival 2019 ~ Part 2

Further to my story here at Tamworth NSW (Australia), for my final recap from the Toyota Tamworth Country Music Festival 2019.  It is a wrap… done and dusted… and what an enjoyable, fun-filled, relaxing time that we have all had during the last 10 days of the festival.  The country music talent never ceases and the entertainment factor has been incredible.  Over 300,000 music lovers have enjoyed their time here at the festival… and what an incredible experience for everyone, especially during this horrid drought.

Farmers have had a little time out, rural families have found some enjoyment, city folk have supported the businesses that had been doing it tough over the last year.  Everyone has come together through their passion for country music and this music has encompassed their lives and lifted spirits across the community.  My personal experience has continued on the road of thrills and indulgence.

On Thursday afternoon, I received a phone call from Clipex Fencing & Stockyards, to ask if I would like 2 complimentary tickets for my husband and I, to attend the concerts of Adam Harvey and Beccy Cole.  I was astonished and almost paralyzed… why me… why us… there are so many farmers, that would deserve this generous offer.  But rather than worry or feel selfish for being presented with this wonderful opportunity to give us a night out… I just felt so very thankful.  As a Clipex customer, we were so grateful to this local fencing business and their staff… and their kindness was appreciated so very much.

Whilst we had been attending some free shows at the local clubs during the music festival, we had only purchased tickets for shows, to support breast cancer through the McGrath Foundation and drought relief through the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners.  So this was very special for us, as a farmer in drought with limited finances, this opportunity was of great value.

Adam Harvey – Friday 25th January

We were still amazed that we had received this generous opportunity to attend Adam Harvey‘s concert.  As we sat waiting for the concert to start, my husband and I were so excited and thankful to Clipex Fencing.  We were so lucky.  I don’t think we have smiled this much for so long.

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The show started with support act Judah Kelly, best known for winning The Voice Australia in 2017.  This young man’s voice really is amazing with his unique range.

We then enjoyed the music from Adam Harvey himself, from his older tunes to his more recent ones.  What I like about Adam, is that he is a genuinely nice fella and is good-hearted and supportive of other young artists.  His guest artists for the show included Catherine Britt and Troy Cassar-Daley.  He also introduced his lovely daughter Layla Harvey and then proudly sang a duet with her.  I really love his laid-back music style and down-to-earth lyrics.

Beccy Cole – Friday 25th January

The good times continued in the next concert with Beccy Cole and the Sisters of Twang.  The all-girl line-up was an absolute hit for festival-goers and a performance to remember.  I still could not believe we were so lucky to receive these complimentary tickets to see this incredible show, thanks to Clipex Fencing.

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The powerful voice of Beccy Cole was incredible and her passion through her songs was captivating.  This may have been my favourite show at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.  I really loved her humour, her story-telling and her heartfelt lyrics.  Her guest artists included her son Ricky Albeck, Kelly Brouhaha, her mother Carole Sturtzel and her partner Libby O’Donovan.  It was lovely watching the emotional performance with Beccy Cole and her son Ricky Albeck.  The heartwarming connection was visible as mother and son shared their mutual passion for music, both with their own individual styles.  As a mother myself, this was just beautiful to witness and enjoy.

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What I really like about Beccy Cole… was the way she promoted feminism and women supporting each other in this day and age.  By no means is she a man-hater, as she is a mother of a son, that means the world to her.  She just wants women to be nice to each other and accept ourselves for who we are… which I think is great advice for us all.  Her kind words and fun-loving performance… left us all feeling strong and capable to face the world.

It was nice to see a “Drought Relief” CD amongst others at her CD store, from various artists for the drought appeal.  As a farmer in drought, this gesture is very much appreciated, when we see the support in front of us every day.  The drought support has been nation-wide from not only music artists, but everyday Australians in city and country, young and old.  This generosity and support make us feel like you have our back and care about the future of Australian food and fibre.  So thank you so much.

Australia Day – Saturday 26th January

Australia Day is the national day set aside to celebrate being Australian, regardless of where our personal stories may have begun.  It is a day for us to all reflect on being Australian, be proud of our culture, celebrate our nation and recognise our history.

What better way to celebrate Australia Day… than spending time with my lovely sister and her beautiful family, when they visit Tamworth this weekend.  We enjoyed a buffet-style dinner together, in the J&L Family Restaurant at the Tamworth Services Club.  There was plenty of choice with succulent seafood including prawns, oysters, smoked salmon… a variety of carvery roasts and vegetables, Chinese cuisine, fresh salads, fruit platters and delicious desserts.  There was something for everyone to choose to their liking, both adults and children.

I remember sitting and reflecting on being Australian… enjoying the company of my family, enjoying tasty fresh food in the local community, and with a sense of proudness for the ex-servicemen and women that fought for our freedom many years ago… so we can continue to enjoy our beautiful country.  I respect the multi-culturalism of Australia and recognise all of our origins… a history that ultimately unites us within our nation.

Following our dinner, we then enjoyed a stroll in the park and listened to some more country music from Tamworth’s best local artists.  The finale was watching the spectacular fireworks with my nieces and nephew.  What is it about fireworks that just seems to fascinate us all and brings us to a complete stand-still momentarily?  From the young children through to the older generation… we all just watch calmly in awe.

Tex Dubbo – Sunday 27th January

My final show was the Tex Dubbo gig… the alter ego of Troy Cassar-Daley, singing old-style songs from renowned country music artists that inspired him.  At this show, Troy does not sing his own songs… but pays homage to the music that has shaped his own career.  We heard original songs from the music of Merle Haggard, George Jones and Willie Nelson… which were relaxing and unwinding for me.  This show happens every second year, is very popular and held at the Longyard Hotel.

His wife Laurel Edwards, supported him in some of his show.  I really like how Troy is so respectfully open and speaks so highly about his lovely wife and their life together.  This gives you so much respect towards him, knowing that he is a very decent bloke and that he appreciates his wife.  As a loving wife myself, I think this is just wonderful.

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Despite the 39 degree heat in the open garden area, I enjoyed the show with my sister and her family.  My sister and her husband love these old-style songs, and I loved to see the enjoyment on their faces as well, as they enjoyed some time-out.  My husband and I also enjoyed a great lunch from the bistro as we enjoyed the music.

And the show must end!  As my lovely sister and her family headed back home to Dubbo, my husband and I returned back to the farm.  Shearing is happening the following day on our farm, so the evening is spent mustering sheep to the yard, ready for tomorrow’s early start.

What a huge jam-packed music festival over the last 10 days!  The festival ended yesterday and is now over… until next year.  So I encourage you all to add the Tamworth Country Music Festival to your “TO DO” list.  This event is not to be missed.  Bear in mind, you will probably enjoy yourself so much, that you may return year after year.

We all deserve a little break every now and then.  It is what keeps us sane and recharged to work effectively in whatever industry we are involved with.  Farmers tend to not take enough time-out… due to the ongoing daily workload and costs.  But in this current drought, it is more important than ever, to look after yourself and your loved ones.  My husband and I are more focused than ever, to tackle life and farming again… with thanks to those music artists and entertainers that support this major festival.

Take care, Karen.

“Never get so busy making a living

that you forget to make a life.”

~ Author Unknown

 

Tamworth Country Music Festival 2019 ~ Part 1

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 ColeAdam 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.

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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.

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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