The Tamworth Country Music Festival takes place every year in the city of Tamworth, New South Wales. It allows people to celebrate the country genre and its rich history. Throughout the festival, there are numerous live performances from new and old music artists. It takes place over a fortnight during Australia Day celebrations. This period of the year sees a surge in tourists visiting the city.

It is often cited as one of the best country music festivals in the entire world. Forbes even rated it in its list of “World’s Coolest Music Festivals”. The huge number of visitors ends up doubling Tamworth’s population for two weeks and is essential to the region’s economy. In 2012 more than 50,000 tickets were sold. Its popularity has continued to endure.

Logistical Issues

People who want to enjoy the festival should be aware that accommodation is always an issue. Most accommodation in Tamworth is booked up in advance, usually for more than a year in advance. Because of this, temporary camping areas are set up to shelter visitors. The riverside of the city is filled with camper vans and tents during the festival celebrations. Tamworth is the world’s second-largest country festival after the one that takes place in Nashville.

Peele Street, a main section of the city is also restricted at this time. The street serves as a key shopping district but pedestrians will have difficulty navigating it when the festival is on. There is also a large amount of competition between buskers who play in Tamworth. They can only perform in public if they successfully register with the local council.

Festival Highlights

One of the best things about the festival is that a wide range of country styles are performed there. This includes bluegrass, rockabilly, yodelling, western swing and folk. This diversity has allowed the festival to further broaden the music being played so that now many other styles from around the world appear.

The Country Music Awards of Australia take place over a night at this festival. The winning artists are each given trophies called Golden Guitar Awards. As the name suggests, they are miniature replicas of this instrument painted gold. The Golden Guitar is arguably the most coveted award in the Australian music industry. This event is a high point of the Tamworth Festival and always receives significant media attention.

There are also much smaller competitions for independent and child artists. Examples of this include Toyota Star Maker, Country Entertainer Of The Year and Kids Talent Quest. The festival is a great place to discover up and coming country singers.


The festival is not just about live concerts and awards. There are numerous other attractions for visitors to check out. There is a monument called the Big Golden Guitar which regularly attracts tourists. The statue serves as a great photo opportunity. There is also a wax museum of country music that is reminiscent of Madame Tussauds.

The Hands Of Fame serves as a tribute to the stars of classic Australian country. A parade called the Country Music Cavalcade takes place during the final Saturday of the festival. This is one of the most beloved attractions of the whole two weeks. Throughout the festival, visitors can enjoy a large selection of small street performances, as well as craft workshops and markets.