TAMWORTH COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL
baristas and even five-star camping options. The festival typically attracts a world-class line-up of international and national artists and more than 300 acts across seven stages. Australian acts Lee Kernaghan, Beccy Cole, The McClymonts, Kasey Chambers, John Williamson and Josh Pyke are regulars.
Gympie Music Muster isn’t just your run-of-the-mill profit-making, charge$7-for-warm-bottled-water type of festival. It’s got a heart as big as its grounds, having donated funds to community groups and charities for the past 34 years. Tickets: $320, plus booking fee, for adult four-day passes. Family tickets available. See muster.com.au
The second-biggest country music festival in the world after Nashville is held in Tamworth, in the northwestern tablelands of NSW, each January.
Attracting up to 100,000 country music fans from all over the world, it’s also the longest festival, running for more than two weeks over Australia Day in late January, with as many as 4000 shows on 150 stages in pubs, clubs and venues around Tamworth.
It showcases Australian country music talent, everything from classic country to bluegrass, country rock, urban country, alt-country rockabilly, western swing, country rock, and blues.
Attractions include the Big Golden Guitar, the Country Music Wax Museum and the Hands of Fame park. Artists, street performers and markets draw large crowds to Peel St, which is closed during the festival.
The Country Music Cavalcade on the last Saturday attracts large crowds to the parade. Highlight is the Golden Guitar Awards.
Accommodation is in homestays, hotels and motels, camping and caravan parks. Dates January 15-24, with headliners including Lee Kernaghan, Beccy Cole and The McClymonts. Early-bird tickets on sale now. See tamworthcountrymusic.com.au and the visitor centre firstname.lastname@example.org
TUNE IN: (clockwise from main) Crowds at Splendour in the Grass; the Woodford Folk Festival amphitheatre; blowing bubbles between shows at Lost Paradise; and Lee Kernaghan leads the cavalcade down Peel St at the Tamworth Country Music Festival. Martin Ollman