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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Hay Mate! Bittersweet Relief with Rural Aid in Tamworth

What a beautiful sight… 2000 bales of hay delivered and stacked in Tamworth NSW this week.  Although tinged with sadness and pain due to the burden of drought, 250 farmers found pleasure in that single moment.

The moment that the realisation overcame them… knowing that the Australian people cared about the future of our agricultural industry.  Knowing that they cared about them.  Knowing that their hungry livestock could be fed for another few days without more cost upon them.  Knowing that those few bales gave some temporary relief.  Knowing that they could fuel their tractor or ute to feed them.  Just knowing that people care.  Farmers literally felt that support here in Tamworth.

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Buy A Bale is a program initiative of Rural Aid.  It is a charitable campaign of providing drought assistance to farmers.  There has been enormous support nation-wide for this valuable cause.   The Hay Mate Concert held in October at Tamworth, raised $2.8 million in drought relief for farmers.  With thanks to music artist John Farnham and guests for this generous support.

The trucks loaded with the donated hay, finally made it to Tamworth… bringing a load of hope to our local farmers.  Buy A Bale organisers, Jobs Australia Enterprises and Doing It For Our Farmers… also distributed Caltex fuel cards, working dog food and calf/lamb milk powder to the very appreciative farmers.

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I was one of those fortunate and grateful farmers this week.  As my husband and I drove into the old saleyards, converted to the temporary “Rural Aid – Buy A Bale” hay drop zone, I was overwhelmed with the arousal of bittersweet relief.

We have had it very tough in this drought, mainly due to the widespread effect across the state.  We are physically tired, mentally drained and almost financially exhausted.  But we are holding hope now, we have had a couple showers of rain in the last few weeks.

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Although we had almost recovered from the 2012 drought… sadly we were hit again too soon.  Like most farmers we put our Drought Management Plan into action.  We reduced livestock numbers quite significantly and retained about a third of our herd to feed this year.  The burden of cost has been enormous but that is a decision we made to retain our core breeding herd, to save over 25 years of genetics in our cattle.

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Currently we have only 260 cattle and 200 lambs on our 2800 acre grazing property.  Trying to be positive, there are good things that result from a drought though.  We only keep the best of our livestock, so going forward, the best quality remains in our stud herd.

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But as we drove into the “Hay Zone” this week, I started to think about the Australian people reaching into their own pockets to give so generously to the farmers.  We are a lucky country, to have so many people that are kind and caring and empathise with others.  I watched as the volunteers loaded trucks with hay, spoke with farmers and distributed items.  Such thoughtful and caring people.

Whilst my husband tied down the hay, I walked over to the tent to meet the 2 lady volunteers nearby.  I learned this mother and daughter came from Cessnock and I valued their conversation and the fact they were volunteering their time and travelled to assist farmers.  Thank you to Tania and Mackenzie Pringle for allowing me to take their photo, as a true representation of the kind-hearted Australian spirit surrounding us all in this drought.  I imagined myself, one day being able to do this for another community and give back this kind support to help another.

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Thank you to Rural Aid and all the men and women volunteering their time to assist in the hay delivery and to the businesses that donate their trucks, machinery and their time.  And thank you to each and every person that has contributed in any way to the drought relief… through time, effort or donating their hard-earned money.  Your support is truly appreciated and provides more than the value you think you have actually contributed.

It is this nation-wide support that gives me the inner strength mentally to face the daily battle on farm.  Personally, I have never seen drought relief to farmers before this year and I have been farming all of my life.  It has amazed me that so many people want to support our industry and secure the future of our domestic food chain.  So thank you one and all.

Take care, Karen.

P.S. The biggest ever hay drop for drought affected farmers… see this video link on Prime 7 news.

“Could a greater miracle take place

than for us to look through each other’s eyes

for an instant?”

~ Henry David Thoreau

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