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

Revel in Country Music at Australia’s #1 Festival

Get ready for Australia’s largest music festival starting in only 3 days.  Tamworth NSW is famous for hosting the annual Toyota Country Music Festival in January each year.  A festival where many renowned country music artists and thousands of fans flock from all over the nation and from abroad to our regional city for 10 whole days of fun, live music and entertainment.

Not only is this the largest music festival in Australia, but the second largest music festival in the world.  WOW that is huge… 700 artists, at more than 2800 events across the city, over 10 days and nights.  Starting Friday 18th January until Sunday 27th January 2019… there is something for everyone.  And it is not too late!

The Tamworth Country Music Festival is a unique festival experience and attendance is free to all.  There are free shows every night in Toyota Park (Bicentennial Park) for you to enjoy.  Main streets are closed off for buskers, stalls, children’s activities and street performers.  You can choose from over 2800 free and ticketed shows over the 10 days in the park, pubs, clubs and hotels around Tamworth.  The Tamworth region is dynamic and in full festival swing.

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The Country Music Festival is a family-friendly event, with free concerts in Toyota Park (Bicentennial Park) in Kable Avenue, the Toyota Country Music Fanzone stage in Fitzroy Street, busking and live entertainment for all ages.  Bring the whole family and check out the Family Zone for rides, entertainment and more in Kable Avenue during the festival.

There are tickets available for gigs by performing artists in the lead-up and during the Country Music Festival.  From live performances, entertainment, country music attractions and other festival activities… this annual event is not to be missed.

To name a few of the renowned performers for the 2019 Country Music Festival…. Kasey Chambers, Troy Cassar-Daley, Adam Harvey, Beccy Cole, Travis Collins, Catherine Britt, Adam Brand and The Bushwackers.

If the red carpet tickles your fancy… the Golden Guitar Awards night is an opportunity to rub shoulders with the biggest names in country music and see them perform in one huge concert at the TRECC.  This is the finale to the 10 day Toyota Country Music Festival Tamworth 2019.  The Golden Guitar Awards are the nation’s longest running music awards concert.

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In search of the next Toyota Star Maker 2019… 10 of Australia’s top emerging country music artists will compete to become the 40th Toyota Star Maker winner at the Grand Final, the main event on the first Sunday of the festival.  The 2018 Toyota Star Maker Winner last year was Brad Cox.

My husband and I did attend a few concerts and shows last year with some good friends.  I remember enjoying Australian singer/songwriter Shane Nicholson at “The Pub” last year.  We also laughed with friends at the “Longyard Hotel” when listening to the crazy antics of a fast-paced show with the Australian band The Bushwackers.  After attending the free Opening Concert in the park and enjoying a variety of artists, I then purchased tickets to attend the “Moonshiners Honky Tonk Bar” for Travis Collins show later in the week.  I also love to walk around the Tamworth street stalls and listen to the variety of buskers… always finding a favourite.

If you are wanting something a little different, you can enjoy the excitement of the ABCRA National Finals Rodeo and Campdraft.  A week of elite Rodeo and Campdraft action at Tamworth’s Australian Equine Livestock & Events Centre (AELEC)   The thrill of cowboys competing for the buckle… highly experienced bucking stock, who thrive on dumping cowboy’s in the dust… and cowgirls upon their horses in a showdown after years of training.  The dynamic energy will have you on the edge of your seat.

Another new 2-day event to provide an exciting, unique and new element to the Tamworth Country Music Festival for both tourists and locals… is the Great Australian Round Up.  It is to be held at AELEC to celebrate our farming heritage and support our agricultural future.  This is a charity event raising money for the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners and other vital rural services.  Showcasing Australian country exhibitions and memorabilia from the legendary Longreach Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame.  The main event will include internationally renowned Guy McLean and his incredible stock horses, as seen on Australia’s Got Talent (see YouTube link for his audition).  An elite Rodeo extravaganza will follow.  Not only the excitement of rodeo action, The Great Australian Round Up rodeo will tell a story of the heritage of rodeo in Australia, highlighting its importance in today’s rural communities.

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Tamworth country music attractions available all year round include the Big Golden Guitar, Australian Country Music Hall of Fame, Wax Museum, Galaxy of Stars, Roll of Renown and Hands of Fame.

Keep in mind, the Tamworth agricultural industry has been suffering the effects of drought on the land, so the businesses in town have felt this too.  This annual festival is a chance for you to come and spend your money in Tamworth to support the local businesses who have suffered as a domino effect of this horrid drought.  We have seen drought support across the nation, but now is your chance to help first hand and put money back into our rural community by attending this entertaining festival.  We are all in this together and I hope that we can all enjoy some time-out, great music and entertainment galore.

So it doesn’t matter if you are seeking live country music entertainment, exciting country activities or sensational country events… it will all be here ready and waiting for you in Tamworth NSW.  Come and see what the Tamworth region has to offer.  Book your accommodation now and bring your family and friends, a hat, sunscreen, fold-up chair or picnic rug for outdoor concerts, photo ID for the pubs/clubs… and you will be ready for an experience you will never forget.

For more information see Toyota Country Music Festival Tamworth 2019.

Take care, Karen.

“A good country song 

takes a page out of somebody’s life

and puts it to music.”

~ Conway Twitty, American Country Music Singer

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