We first came to Tamworth Music Festival some years ago, and love it. We have never been able to spend more than a few days at the start, due to work commitments, but this year we arrived the first Monday of the festival and stayed until the end. My sister and her husband come most years and it is lovely to catch up with them.
This time we camped (I love saying we go camping, when we have a virtual home on wheels - not really camping shhhhh!), at Riverside Camp Grounds, which is only a campground during the festival.
This is the 45th Country Music Festival, and is the largest festival in the Southern Hemisphere. The festival over the years has launched many famous country music singers, including: Lee Kernaghan, James Blundell, Keith Urban, Gina Jefferys, Beccy Cole, Tanya Self, Travis Collins, Bob Corbett, and Kaylee Bell.
The festival runs over 10 days and many of the venues are free. There is an official guide that can be purchased for $10, and includes a CD of country music. Many of the Tamworth clubs also offer temporary membership for the duration of the festival, which allows the member to get discounts on food and drinks.
Most of the performances are free, either in clubs or stages around the town.
My sister shouted us to Songhouse at the Services Club on the day we arrived. Great performances by Kevin Bennett, Imogen Clark, Harry Hooney, and Fanny Lumsden.
Kevin Bennett was nominated 5 Golden Guitar Awards, and Fanny Lumsden was nominated for 3.
We started each day at the Services Club to see Writers in the Round. We had breakfast there.
Tuesday we saw Phil and Lana Doublet, 8 Ball Aitken, and Mick Lindsay. All were different and all were good, especially considering it started at 9am.
Wednesday was Col Finlay (reminded me of Jimmy Barnes), Allan Caswell, and Michael Waugh. Allan Caswell was nominated for 3 awards.
Michael Waugh was nominated for QANTASLink New Talent of the Year.
Thursday morning we saw Billy Bridge, Rebecca Lee Nye and Bobkatz, - so good that I forgot a group photo!
Friday morning, and the last morning, we saw Brad Butcher, Roger Corbett from the Bushwackers, and Emily Joy with Luke Gallagher.
Some days we spent the whole day in the Services Club - had breakfast and lunch there, as well as drinkies 😆🍹.
My sister had said how good Luella was, and boy was she right. Over the week we actually saw three of Luella's shows. She has just so much energy, and the way she sang 'Hallelujah' was so powerful - and that is a song I have never liked, but the way Luella Wildt sang it - WOW!
We also stayed for Col Finlay's band performance after seeing him in the Writers in the Round.
Col had other performers, mostly newcomers, perform during his show. The Dennis Sisters, from Queensland (we saw a lot of Queensland performers) were really good. We actually went to Hungry Jack's to see them perform on Saturday, but they didn't turn up - they were winning the Coca-Cola Batttle of the Bands. Knew they were good.
Another good performer that we saw a lot of was Michael Bryers. He also had Phil Doublet playing in the band the day we saw him at the Services Club.
We did venture to Peel Street and got the obligatory free photos 📷. There were not as many buskers as the last time we came, but still a few good ones and some not so good. Peter had a drive in a Landcruiser Sahara around the Toyota 4WD circuit - I went shopping! It was too hot to stand and watch performers at some of the outside stages, so we mostly opted for inside and air-conditioning.
Saturday night was the Golden Guitar Awards, which sadly is not shown on free to air TV channels - it really should be, with the networks having so many channels each. I opted to watch it live streaming, not ideal as it kept freezing and I had to keep re-loading it.
We had a great time in Tamworth with my sister and brother-in-law, and we caught up with some good friends we hadn't seen for a while. We are now on an adventure with them.