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  Tamworth Country Music
Scroll Down for 2007 Summary
 
2008 Tamworth Festival Dates
Friday January 18th to Sunday, January 27th.
The Festival Countdown will run from Friday, January 11th to Thursday, January 17th.
CMAA Country Music Awards of Australia, - 26th January 2008- Information Centre - 02 6767 5300
 
For all inquiries - Tamworth Camerata Box 7068 NEMSC Tamworth 2348.
Administration 02 6765 4875
E-mail or Coordinator 0408 255908 
E-mail

http://www.thepub.com.au/camerata/html/information.html
APPLICATIONS CLOSE 28th Febuary 2007
 
 
College of Country Music
18 years and over applications close 30th June 2007
Contact CMAA Phone 02 6766 1577
email info@country.com.au 
website www.country.com.au 
2007 Tamworth Country Music Festival Summary
 
 
Winners!!
Male Vocalist                  Female Vocalist
Lee Kernaghan                                                                    Beccy Cole
 
Best Group
 
Winners announced in 2007 CMAA Country Music Awards of Australia presented by Jayco (27-Jan-07)
Lee Kernaghan, Beccy Cole and The McClymonts have shared the honours at the 35th CMAA Country Music Awards of Australia, presented by Jayco, held in the Tamworth Regional Entertainment Centre last night.

Before a sell-out crowd, Kernaghan took away four and Cole accepted three “Golden Guitars” each with The McClymonts picking up two.

Lee Kernaghan took out Album of the Year and Male Artist of the Year for his album, The New Bush, and won the coveted Heritage Song of the Year for Close As A Whisper (The Gift). Lee also took out the Award for Top Selling Album of the Year bringing his total to 24 Country Music Awards of Australia throughout his career.  

Her song in response to a letter from a fan, Poster Girl (Wrong Side Of The World), won Beccy Cole three Awards - the prestigious APRA Song of the Year, Female Artist of the Year and Single of the Year, taking her total number of Golden Guitar trophies to seven.

Rising stars, The McClymonts, signalled their arrival in the big-time with two awards. Brooke, Samantha and Mollie McClymont won Group or Duo of the Year and Maton New Talent of the Year with their smash hit, Something That My Heart Does. Previously, Samantha was the only member of the trio to have won a Golden Guitar.

One of the most popular wins of the night was that of Anne Kirkpatrick whose performance of Peppimenarti Cradle, written by her mother, the legendary Joy McKean, took home the Award for Bush Ballad of the Year. It was both Anne and Joy’s sixth Golden Guitar.

Felicity Urquhart took out Video Clip of the Year for the beautiful Big Black Cloud, which was directed by Glenn Wilson. It was Felicity’s second Golden Guitar.

Legendary guitarist, Tommy Emmanuel, picked up Instrumental of the Year for his Gameshow Rag/Cannonball Rag, while Vocal Collaboration of the Year went to Allan Caswell & Drew McAlister for A Little Bit of Country In Us All.

The Country Music Association of Australia presented a special achievement award to Keith Urban to acknowledge his outstanding contribution to country music.

Adam Brand took home the inaugural viewer voted CMC Oz Artist of the Year Award.
The star-studded night featured performances by Australian country music’s finest, with a list of presenters that included noted musician Don Walker, actor Georgie Parker and country superstars Gina Jeffreys, Troy Cassar-Daley and Melinda Schneider.

The CMAA Country Music Awards of Australia, presented by Jayco, will be broadcast on the Southern Cross Network on Saturday, 3 February, 2006, at 6.30pm. Network Ten will also be airing the program in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth on Sunday, 4 February, 2007, at 12 noon. A further broadcast of the Awards will be shown on CMC on Friday, 9 February, 2007 at 7.00pm [all times EDST) and will include a Red Carpet and backstage special hosted by Steve Forde.  

All full list of winners is listed below. The 35th CMAA Country Music Awards of Australia were presented by

"Proudly Supported by the Australian Government"

WINNERS IN THE 35th CMAA COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS OF AUSTRALIA
 
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
The New Bush – Lee Kernaghan
ABC Music
Produced by Garth Porter

MALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Lee Kernaghan –
The New Bush
ABC Music

FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Beccy Cole – Poster Girl (Wrong Side Of The World)
ABC Music

TOP SELLING ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Lee Kernaghan –
The New Bush
ABC Music

GROUP OR DUO OF THE YEAR
The McClymonts – Something That My Heart Does
Universal Music Australia

VOCAL COLLABORATION OF THE YEAR
Allan Caswell & Drew McAlister – A Little Bit Of Country In Us All
Origin Music

BUSH BALLAD OF THE YEAR
Peppimenarti Cradle – Anne Kirkpatrick
Compass Bros Records
Lyrics & Music by Joy McKean

HERITAGE SONG OF THE YEAR
Close As A Whisper (The Gift) – Lee Kernaghan
ABC Music
Lyrics & Music by Lee Kernaghan, Garth Porter & Colin Buchanan

INSTRUMENTAL OF THE YEAR
Gameshow Rag/Cannonball Rag – Tommy Emmanuel
ABC Music

MATON NEW TALENT OF THE YEAR
The McClymonts – Something That My Heart Does
Universal Music Australia

VIDEO CLIP OF THE YEAR
Big Black Cloud – Felicity Urquhart
Felicity’s Entertainment
Directed by Glenn Wilson

SINGLE OF THE YEAR
Poster Girl (Wrong Side Of The World) – Beccy Cole
ABC Music

APRA SONG OF THE YEAR
Poster Girl (Wrong Side Of The World) – Beccy Cole
Lyrics & Music by Beccy Cole (ABC Music Publishing)

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Keith Urban

CMC OZ ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Adam Brand
 
Star Maker
 
Oh what a winner! Kirsty Lee Akers declared Toyota Star Maker 2007
New South Wales singer songwriter Kirsty Lee Akers has taken the crown as winner of the Toyota Star Maker 2007 competition, Australia’s oldest and most successful music talent search.

Twenty finalists were whittled down to a “final five” plus an additional “wildcard entry” with many competitors already established performers in their own right. This year, interest reached an all-time high, largely due to the increased prize pool and sky-rocketing interest in country music with many artists gaining mainstream appeal.

Toyota Star Maker 2007 winner Kirsty Lee, from Kurri Kurri, said she was excited by the prospects that lie ahead.

“It’s an amazing feeling to be awarded a prize that has started the careers of some of the biggest names in country music. It’s a huge opportunity and I intend to make the most of it,” she said.

Since stepping into the spotlight at age three, Kirsty has not looked back. Her musical talents have been recognised nationally and internationally. Winning the 2006 Telstra Road to Tamworth Songwriter’s Encouragement Award, making it to the top 70 of Australian Idol and being named a grand finalist in an International Songwriting Competition are just a few of Kirsty’s achievements to date.

Toyota Star Maker has been a major stepping stone in the careers of country music legends including Lee Kernaghan, James Blundell, Beccy Cole, Keith Urban and Gina Jeffreys.

Previous Toyota Star Maker winners James Blundell, Beccy Cole, Gina Jeffreys and Brendon Walmsley appeared as guest artists during the Grand Final last night (Sunday, January 21) together with last year’s winner Cat Southern who is a finalist in next weekend’s Golden Guitar Awards for New Talent of the Year.

Toyota’s Manager of Promotions and Event Management Wayne Gabriel said the finalists were of an extremely high standard and were all to be congratulated.

“With the announcement of this year’s prize package, competition grew incredibly fierce, but each and every artist rose to the challenge. The quality of the performances was excellent and all finalists have spent an incredible amount of time fine-tuning what they presented,” Wayne said.

“As we enter 2007, Toyota celebrates another year as Australia’s number one car company. Now Toyota has helped find a new star who might eventually become Australia’s number one country performer,” he said.

General Manager of Rural Press Events Barry Harley said that the new format which reduces the final 20 performers to five instead of 10 was appealing to both finalists and audience and increased the level of competition.

“This is undoubtedly one of the highest quality fields we’ve seen for many, many years – a big call for a talent search that has the reputation of being the ultimate in its category,” Barry said.

“The judges found the task of reducing the final 20 to the final five extremely difficult hence the wild card entry which brought it to six. The winner is bound to have the ride of their life because of the excellent quality we have seen tonight.”

This year’s Toyota Star Maker 2007 prize package is bigger and better than ever and includes:


Use of the title Toyota Star Maker 2007;
A big-budget full album recording session with one of Australia’s top producers;
A record contract with Compass Bros;
Distribution and promotion of at least two tracks from the album to radio and other media;
50 copies of the album for personal distribution;
Production of a video clip for one track by an award-winning director;
Media promotion including monthly exposure in Country Music Capital News;
Guaranteed bookings at a designated list of events including country music festivals in Tamworth, Gympie and Mildura;
A new BOSE Personalised Amplification System (PAS);
A Maton acoustic guitar;
Professional stage skills tuition from Stagecoach;
Invitations to a designated list of industry events;
A showcase performance at the Toyota Star Maker Grand Final in 2008;
A Toyota Star Maker winner’s jacket; and
Use of a fully-serviced Toyota motor vehicle and fuel card for the 12 months following the award.

For more information on Toyota’s commitment to the Tamworth Country Music Festival and other events please visit:
http://www.toyotacountryclub.com.au
 
Road to Tamworth Winners Briana Lee and Morgan Evans
 
 CMAA Life Memberships
The Board of the Country Music Association of Australia has announced it will present CMAA Life Memberships to John Minson and Max Ellis at a special CMAA Members’ function to be held during the Tamworth Country Music Festival this month.
Click here for more info
 
Legends of Country Return for Recognition
Tamworth, Thursday 25 January 2007: Whether it’s during their 10-day annual January Festival or
during the other 355 days of the year, Tamworth is the mecca for country music and is known as
Australia’s capital of the genre. Everywhere you look, you can find emerging talent or tributes to those
who have assisted develop the industry in Australia.
Each year, during the Tamworth Country Music Festival, presented by Telstra, the Tamworth Regional
Council recognises the contribution of artists that have developed, grown and contributed to not only
the Festival but the industry as a whole.
This year, it is with great appreciation Tamworth welcomes back the legendary Smoky Dawson and Joy
McKean who are to be inducted into the “Galaxy of Stars” located in the forecourt at the Tamworth
Regional Entertainment Centre.
The “Galaxy of Stars” is a Hollywood Walk of Fame like tribute with brass star plaques placed between
concrete pavers honouring those who have been instrumental in the industry. No more fitting for the
honour is one of the original Fathers of Australian Country Music, Smoky Dawson. For more than six
decades, Smoky Dawson has made a remarkable contribution to the culture and life of Australia.
Smoky made his first solo recording in 1941, the still-popular-today “I’m a Happy Go Lucky Cowhand”.
After a stint in the army, Smoky picked up where he left off and success swept him into an incredible
life of stardom, recording and touring. He became a yodeling, whip cracking, knife throwing, film acting,
song writing, singing, matinee idol, and a radio and television super-star.
Smoky was the third pioneer great to be elevated to the Country Music Roll of Renown (in 1978). As
well as this honour, he has also been inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame, won a number of Golden
Guitar awards, been presented with an MBE for services to country music and an Order of Australia for
services to entertainment, Australian country music and the community – the tribute of induction into
the “Galaxy of Stars” is well deserved and possibly long overdue.
Also being inducted into the “Galaxy of Stars” in 2007 is the First Lady of Australian Country Music, Joy
McKean. Joy is a rare breed indeed – a classic “quiet achiever”. Most people know her as the wife and
manager of the late Slim Dusty, and as a songwriter and member of the pioneering duo The McKean
Sisters [with Heather].
But what many people don’t realise is just how much Joy has contributed to Australia’s rich country
music heritage, particularly through her prolific song-writing.
Joy grew up in a musical family which nurtured her, taking her on to touring with husband Slim Dusty
in 1954. Joy was an integral part of the Slim Dusty Show. In 1983, with sister Heather, Joy was
elevated to the Country Music Roll of Renown as The McKean Sisters, the eighth pioneer act to be so
honoured.
 
Lindsay Butler Recipient of Country Music's Highest Honour
 
 
Photo: courtesy Steve Charles
Graeme Connors & Gina Press TIARA Sponsor Blue Dog Clothing Co
 
2007 TIARA 10th Anniversary Awards
Category Winners
Awards Showcase and Presentation
Held at Blazes Auditorium 23 Tuesday 2007

GEOFF BROWN MEMORIAL AWARD:
GREG CHAMPION - Been There Done That

STAN COSTER MEMORIAL BUSH BALLAD AWARD:
MATT MANNING - Timeless Country

MICHAEL COWDROY SONGWRITING AWARD:
KAREN LYNNE & RICHARD PORTEOUS - Blue Mountain Rain

BARRY THORNTON MEMORIAL INSTRUMENTAL AWARD:
DAVIDSON BROTHERS - Scrub Turkey

VOCAL COLLABORATION AWARD:
CASEY WATT / BRENDAN RADFORD - If I Needed You

DUO AWARD:
CARTER & CARTER - Ride

GROUP AWARD
LUKE O'SHEA & MEDICINE WHEEL - Making Memories

FEMALE VOCAL AWARD:
SANDRA HUMPHRIES - Biggest Fool Around

MALE VOCAL AWARD:
LEE FORSTER - A Fire in the Bar

ONE STOP ENTERTAINMENT ALBUM OF THE YEAR
DAVIDSON BROTHERS - Raised On The Road

SERVICES TO THE INDUSTRY
Allan Clement

HONORARY ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
Peter Schroeder

 
TSA SONGWRITERS’ SALUTE AWARDS OF AUSTRALIA
CONTEMPORARY COUNTRY SONG OF THE YEAR
** POSTER GIRL – BECCY COLE ** WINNER
 
BUSH BALLAD OF THE YEAR
** WHAT COUNTRY’S ALL ABOUT – GRAHAM RODGER ** WINNER

COUNTRY BALLAD OF THE YEAR
** THE BATTLE OF LONG TAN
– ALAN McPHERSON & GRAHAM RODGER ** WINNER

GOSPEL SONG OF THE YEAR
** STRENGTH WITHIN – SHAZA LEIGH ** WINNER

CHILDREN’S SONG OF THE YEAR
** LITTLE GIRL IN ME – MELISSA BAJRIC ** WINNER

COMEDY/NOVELTY SONG OF THE YEAR
** IF THEY PUT A TAX ON THAT – ERNIE CONSTANCE ** WINNER

COUNTRY SONG OF THE YEAR
** POSTER GIRL – BECCY COLE ** WINNER

TSA SONGMAKER AWARD
** ARTHUR BLANCH ** WINNER

TSA/CAPITAL NEWS NEW SONGWRITER AWARD
** STILL CIRCLING – SOPHIE CLABBURN ** WINNER

TSA TEX MORTON AWARD
RECIPIENT – ** NICK ERBY **

TSA NATIONAL COUNTRY SONGWRITING CONTEST
PROFESSIONAL SECTION
** WOMAN ON THE LAND – GRAHAM RODGER ** WINNER

AMATEUR SECTION
** SHE TAUGHT ME TO PRAY – JUDE RODRIGUES ** WINNER

JUNIOR SECTION - FINALISTS
** HOME – ANNA MACDONALD ** WINNER

LYRICS ONLY SECTION
** I WISH I WERE A CROCODILE – MERV WEBSTER ** WINNER
 
 
Australian Bush Laureate Awards – 2007 winners
Winners in the 2007 Australian Bush Laureate awards were announced before a capacity audience in the Tamworth Town Hall this afternoon.

In BOOK OF THE YEAR, ORIGINAL VERSE, for the best original Australian work in book form, the winner was THE EXODUS AND OTHER VERSE by Bob Magor. A sheep and cattle farmer from Myponga in South Australia, Bob is now the author of seven top selling books of his bush verse.

In ALBUM OF THE YEAR, the winner was I’M BETTER THAN SHE IS by Carmel Dunn & Jennifer Haig. Both Carmel and Jennifer, from Queensland, have built a strong reputation over a short period of time for their work and have achieved a great deal of success with this collaborative work.

For SINGLE RECORDED PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR, the winner was WHY? by Carol Heuchan who also took out the inaugural BUSH POETRY PERFORMER OF THE YEAR award which was determined by public vote.

Those aware of the prolific poetry successes of Carol Heuchan in recent years might imagine that she has been doing it forever. Not so! An instant top selling book in 2002 led to her first bush poetry competition and the rest, as they say, is history with poetry taking over her life, to the point where Carol has won more than 30 performance competitions in just a few years including state and Australian championships.

Winner of the JUDITH HOSIER HERITAGE AWARD, for outstanding achievement in nurturing Australia’s heritage of verse, went to the Carmel Randle, a tremendous worker for the cause of bush poetry (see separate release).

The Australian Bush Laureate Awards were first staged in 1996 to recognise excellence in published and recorded Australian bush poetry.

The 13th Australian Bush laureate Awards will be held in Tamworth on Tuesday 22nd January, 2008.

Carmel Randle – winner of the 2007 Judith Hosier Australian Bush Laureate Heritage Award

Born and educated in Brisbane, CARMEL RANDLE spent most of her life in rural Queensland. Until retirement, she taught speech and drama, music and english, but she always found time to devote to her other great interest, rhymed poetry.

Carmel travelled extensively throughout Australia performing poetry and appeared at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Nevada, USA, in 1999 and 2000.

Although she has published three books of her own work and won many awards for her writing, including an Australian Bush Laureate Award for Book of the Year in 1997 and the prestigious Bronze Swagman Award in 1996 and 1999, it is for her efforts to further the cause of bush verse that she receives this award today.

Carmel worked hard to establish the judging rules and categories for competitions and was a founding member of the Australian Bush Poet’s Association.

She has edited and produced three “Co-operative Books of Verse for Aussie Children” and her publication “Help” – a handbook for writers and performers of rhymed verse – is the only practical guide yet written for Australian bush poets.

Carmel also worked tirelessly to establish the Australian National Bush Poetry titles and helped make Winton a centre of excellence for bush verse.

Last year, this award went to the Winton Tourist Association, partly because of Carmel’s recommendation that they were “a marvellous bunch of people doing a great job...”
This year, it’s her turn!

Kiwis scoop the pool in the 2007 Bundaberg Rum Jazzer Quest
More than 100 contestants took part in the Bundaberg Rum Jazzer Quest in the Music Room at The Pub in Tamworth. Six heats were contested daily at 4pm from Friday, January 19 until Wednesday, January 24, followed by the wildcard heat on Thursday, culminating in the grand final on Australia Day. Quest co-ordinator since 1995 Greg Williams has expanded the Jazzer team to include the lovely Jacqui Gaynor, who handles the day to day running of this important event. Standout performances were many, resulting in high quality entertainment for the big audiences present every day.


“The wildcard heat on the Thursday was a successful innovation a few years back and very well received by the audience and contestants,” Greg Williams said. “It allowed for some of those contestants you couldn’t possibly leave out, to get another shot at the grand final and the big prize pool.”

The junior section was won by 12-year-old New Zealander Hannah Cosgrove, a very popular crowd choice. As well as winning $1000 from Bundaberg Rum and a fabulous Fender acoustic/electric guitar, Hannah won Axiom Entertainment Agency’s scholarship to Tamworth Camerata 2007 – Australia’s only recognised youth country music school staged annually in the Country Music Capital. She also accepted a performance spot in Young Country Stars the next day at The Pub. Second place in the junior section was won by Melanie Dyer from Inverell, NSW, while Daniel Cosgrove (yes, Hannah’s brother!) took out third place. Second and third junior placegetters received $500 and $300 from Bundaberg Rum.

The open section winner, Katie Thompson from New Zealand, completed a Kiwi clean sweep of The Jazzer. Her winner’s package included $2000 cash from Bundaberg Rum, and a fabulous Fender acoustic/electric guitar, arranged by Cheapa Music, Tamworth, and presented by Fender representative Clay Algie (pictured with Katie and Hannah). Second place was won by Sydney’s Taryn Traustch, who impressed the judges just ahead of Brisbane’s Lance Coassin who secured third prize. Second and third open section placegetters received $800 and $400 from Bundaberg Rum. All contestants had the option of utilising the Bundaberg Rum Jazzer Quest band throughout the quest, composed of wonderful musicians Les Scott on guitar, Glen Skarratt on bass, and sharing drumming duties, Terry Phillpot and Glenn Wilson. Compering duties were ably handled by Kevin Anderson, Aleta Tulk, Jodie Crosby and Jon Wolfe. Judges for this year’s Bundaberg Rum Jazzer Quest came from a wide cross section of the country music industry - Allan Tomkins, Nicki Gillis, Jodie Crosby, Errol Gray, Simon Johnson, Sam Burgess, Amber Lawrence, Darren Colston, Lynne Carey, Aaron Bolton, Donna Boyd, Aleta Tulk, Tubby Dyer, Victoria Baillie, Deniese Morrison, Paul Wilson and Steve Cheers. Entry fees collected from contestants amounting to more than $600 was directed to the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute in Melbourne, in memory of the quest’s namesake – the late Jazzer Smith. This has been the custom each year as Jazzer was treated at Peter Mac with kindness, dignity and respect, during his 17-year battle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. The quest is now 25 years old, an ongoing icon of the Tamworth Country Music Festival, now firmly established in its new home at The Pub, which was voted the CMAA’s Best Country Music Venue 2006. Strongly supported by wonderful sponsor Bundberg Rum, this quest not only maintains the standard, it raises it!

Photo: Katie Thompson, Clay Algie - Fender Australia, and Hannah Cosgrove with their new Fender guitars. Photo: Jon Wolfe.
For more information, please visit The Pub website, www.thepub.com.au  – or phone Anna Rose on (02) 6765 4875 or 0428 413 809
 
Does the country capital ever sleep?
The streets of Tamworth that have been crowded and overflowing with energy and entertainment for the Festival are now seemingly quiet but much is bubbling under the surface. The official celebrations concluded at 1pm Sunday 28 January 2007 with the Mayor of Tamworth, James Treloar lowering the Festival flag. The event has been heralded by Festival organisers as a “huge success”. The 35th anniversary of the Festival delivered more than 2,200 events, over 700 artists in the town and an additional 550 or so buskers. The Festival far-exceeded expectations of anticipated visitor numbers; Mayor James Treloar stated, “history suggests that whenever the Festival is attached to a long weekend [the Australia Day public holiday falling on Friday], it will be a record festival every time.”
“There have been over 30,000 visitors through the Tamworth Visitor Information Centre over the period of the Festival,” said Ms Rebel Thomson, General Manager of Tourism Tamworth. “To put that into some perspective, Tourism NSW states that approximately 40 percent of all visitors to a town enter an information centre so on that basis we estimate there were more than 75,000 Festival-goers in the city this year.”
“In addition, Tourism Tamworth has sold over 43,000 physical tickets for shows scheduled during the Festival which is well-up on previous years” Ms Thomson added.
The Tamworth Regional Council announced a new record for the number of campsites utilised at the Riverside Sporting Facility; a total of 1,850 sites – up by 300 from the previous record. The largest of spectator events were the two free concerts held in Bicentennial Park; Lee Kernaghan attracted over 13,000 individuals on Thursday 25 January with his Australia Day Eve concert. This was followed on Friday 26 January by Kasey Chambers who returned for her sixth consecutive year of providing the free gig, and joining her was special guest Missy Higgins who together brought in almost 20,000 fans. Although Festival 07 has wound down, it seems the Tamworth area isn’t quite ready for a break! The region will host the 10th FAI World Paragliding Championships (24 February – 9 March) and many of the key organisers of the iconic Country Music Festival will now divert their attention to this event and go into overdrive for the final planning stages.
Continuing with world-wide recognised events, the town will then play host to the NCHA Futurity (26 May – 3 June), which is week-long event widely recognised within the equine sector and is known to attract thousands into the city. As the country music capital, Tamworth also offers a special mid-year celebration of the genre known as “Hats off to Country”. The Festival, which will be held Thursday 5 – Sunday 8 July 2007, is still in its infant years and 2007 will see its eighth deliverance. Tamworth stakeholders aim to grow the event to a scale resembling the January festivities. When the city with a population of 38,000 is finished with these other large scale events they can finally start to plan the 2008 Tamworth Country Music Festival. There’s no doubting it, Tamworth is a city that doesn’t sleep!
If you would like to find out more information about the Hats Off to Country Festival or the 2008 Tamworth Country Music Festival presented by Telstra, or alternatively if you’re planning a trip to Tamworth at anytime of the year to see what hidden delights are on offer in the region, contact Tourism Tamworth on 02 6767 5300 or visit
www.visittamworth.com
Anna Rose

The Pub Management
Representing: Felicity Urquhart, Aleyce Simmonds, The Baileys, Aaron Bolton, Katrina Burgoyne

 
Does the country capital ever sleep?
Tamworth, 28 January 2007: Seen as the culmination of the Tamworth Country Music Festival
presented by Telstra, the Country Music Awards of Australia are the industry’s “night of nights”
and signified last night to many the wrapping of the 07 celebrations. The streets of Tamworth that
have been crowded and overflowing with energy and entertainment for the past 10-days have
started to recede and quieten.

While buskers still play and venues are still providing live entertainment, the official celebrations
concluded at 1pm today (Sunday 28 January 2007) with the Mayor of Tamworth, James Treloar
lowering the Festival flag. The event has been heralded by Festival organisers as a “huge
success”.

The 35th anniversary of the Festival delivered more than 2,200 events, over 700 artists in the
town and an additional 550 or so buskers.

The Festival far-exceeded expectations of anticipated visitor numbers; Mayor James Treloar
stated, “history suggests that whenever the Festival is attached to a long weekend [the Australia
Day public holiday falling on Friday], it will be a record festival every time.”

“There have been over 30,000 visitors through the Tamworth Visitor Information Centre over the
period of the Festival,” said Ms Rebel Thomson, General Manager of Tourism Tamworth. “To put
that into some perspective, Tourism NSW states that approximately 40 percent of all visitors to a
town enter an information centre so on that basis we estimate there were more than 75,000
Festival-goers in the city this year.”

“In addition, Tourism Tamworth has sold over 43,000 physical tickets for shows scheduled during
the Festival which is well-up on previous years” Ms Thomson added.

The Tamworth Regional Council announced a new record for the number of campsites utilised at
the Riverside Sporting Facility; a total of 1,850 sites – up by 300 from the previous record.

The largest of spectator events were the two free concerts held in Bicentennial Park; Lee
Kernaghan attracted over 13,000 individuals on Thursday 25 January with his Australia Day Eve
concert. This was followed on Friday 26 January by Kasey Chambers who returned for her sixth
consecutive year of providing the free gig, and joining her was special guest Missy Higgins who
together brought in almost 20,000 fans.

Although Festival 07 may be winding down, it seems the Tamworth area isn’t quite ready for a
break! The region will host the 10th FAI World Paragliding Championships (24 February – 9 March)
and many of the key organisers of the iconic Country Music Festival will now divert their attention
to this event and go into overdrive for the final planning stages.

Continuing with world-wide recognised events, the town will then play host to the NCHA Futurity
(26 May – 3 June), which is week-long event widely recognised within the equine sector and is
known to attract thousands into the city.

As the country music capital, Tamworth also offers a special mid-year celebration of the genre
known as “Hats off to Country”. The Festival, which will be held Thursday 5 – Sunday 8 July 2007,
is still in its infant years and 2007 will see its eighth deliverance. Tamworth stakeholders aim to
grow the event to a scale resembling the January festivities.

When the city with a population of 38,000 is finished with these other large scale events they can
finally start to plan the 2008 Tamworth Country Music Festival. There’s no doubting it, Tamworth
is a city that doesn’t sleep!
If you would like to find out more information about the Hats Off to Country Festival or the 2008
Tamworth Country Music Festival presented by Telstra, or alternatively if you’re planning a trip to
Tamworth at anytime of the year to see what hidden delights are on offer in the region, contact
Tourism Tamworth on 02 6767 5300 or visit www.visittamworth.com  .
 
The Festival Countdown will run from Friday, January 11th to Thursday, January 17th.
CMAA Country Music Awards of Australia, - 26th January 2008- 
Information Centre - 02 6767 5300

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