Get out your favourite cowboy boots and get ready to boot scoot because the Toyota Country Music Festival is headed back to Tamworth this January. Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the largest music festival in Australia will step things up a notch again, taking over every nook and cranny of Tamworth next summer, offering ten days and nights of fair dinkum country music delight between January 14 – 23.
An Australian rite of passage, the 50th anniversary will offer a mix of traditional, Americana, blues, roots, alt-country, bluegrass and honky-tonk artists filling every available public space in the iconic country town with live music. With an already stacked lineup including Kasey Chambers, Troy Cassar-Daley, Graeme Connors, Felicity Urquhart & Josh Cunnigham (The Waifs), Fanny Lumsden, Adam Brand and Travis Collins set to be joined by hundreds more world-class performers the Toyota Country Music Festival, Tamworth will offer something for every type of country music fan out there. Highlighted by a star-studded centrepiece concert event on Wednesday 19 January, that will celebrate 50 years of the event, a series of free concerts headlined by Adam Brand and Travis Collins and of course, the iconic Toyota Golden Guitar Awards, the festival will have Tamworth jumping like never before, as Tamworth becomes one giant party.
So much more than your typical music festival, the scope of the Toyota Country Music Festival, Tamworth can be pretty overwhelming to a newcomer, so we’ve done you a solid and put together this handy foolproof guide to the fest that’ll give you the lowdown on the hoedown!
WHEN + WHERE + HOW IS THE TOYOTA COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL HAPPENING?
When: The 50th Anniversary of the Toyota Country Music Festival, Tamworth will take place from Friday 14 – Sunday 23 January, 2022. Yep, that’s 10 days and nights of country music delight.
Where: It’s right there in the name. The Toyota Country Music Festival, Tamworth takes place in and around Australia’s country music capital Tamworth, NSW. There’s no specific location, with events taking place in every imaginable space in town. From intimate gigs in small pubs and clubs, to arena shows at Tamworth Regional Entertainment Conference Centre and massive free shows in Toyota Park. A full list of venues participating can be found here: https://www.tcmf.com.au/venues.
How: IRL! Yep, the 50th Tamworth Country Music Festival is a good ol’ in-person music festival. Remember those? So fill up the 4×4 or the back of the ute and head to Tamworth to make hay while the sun shines.
SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD OL’ TIME. WHO IS PLAYING?
The line-up for the 50th Anniversary Toyota Country Music Festival, Tamworth is the stuff country dreams are made of. Offering a mix of traditional, Americana, blues, roots, Alt-country, bluegrass and honky-tonk artists like ARIA Hall of Fame inductee, Kasey Chambers, country music luminary Troy Cassar-Daley, multi-award-winning artists Adam Brand and Travis Collins, esteemed songwriter Graeme Connors, the blossoming duo of Felicity Urquhart & Josh Cunningham (The Waifs) and admired performer Fanny Lumsden, already down to perform with many, many more still to come.
IS IT JUST MUSIC?
Absolutely not! As attendees of previous editions of the festival will attest, the Tamworth Country Music Festival feels more like a vacation with a live soundtrack of world-class country music, than a traditional festival, and the 50th anniversary is set to take that party vibe to new levels, as Tamworth’s main thoroughfare, Peel Street, is turned over to pedestrians to enjoy street art, street performers and market stalls. There’ll be hundreds of buskers, of varying ages, styles and genres battling it out in the busking comp as well as unique opportunities to get up close and personal with performers in the brand new dynamic Fanzone precinct. There’ll be a foodzone catering to all kinds of cuisines, a country show inspired family zone, with showbags, games and carnival rides and of course, the annual Toyota Golden Guitar Awards.
WAIT, 10 DAYS! WHERE DO I SLEEP?
As home to 60,000 people and a near-constant stream of tourists, Tamworth is well prepared to house the festival droves, with the town offering a stack of places to let your head hit the hay. Whether you prefer camping, motel, hotel, caravan park, B&B or self-contained style accommodation; there is something to suit everyone! Don’t know where to start your Googling? Then check out the festival’s helpful accommodation guide but get in fast, popular spots can fill up fast.
THANKS! NOW HOW DO I GET THERE?
Depending on where you live, you could either walk, run, ride, drive, bus or fly. Tamworth is located 405km northwest of Sydney, 280km from Newcastle and 570km south of Brisbane. The drive or bus ride to Tamworth is part of the fun for many, with cavalcades a pretty common sight, but if that’s not your thing, you’re a little pressed for time or you live far too far away, Qantas offers daily direct flights. For more information on travelling to the Tamworth region, visit Destination Tamworth. Once you’re there, you can commute around the festival however you like, but our ‘less than sober’ boot-scootin’ butts can vouch that the Festival Express Bus is a winner.
LET ME FETCH MY AKUBRA, COZ I’M IN, NOW HOW DO I GET IN TO THIS SHINDIG?
As an ungated, mostly non-ticketed event, there’s no need to sink a small fortune on tickets to experience the Toyota Country Music Festival, Tamworth, in fact for much of the festival all you need to do is be in Tamworth and then let your ears (or the official guide) guide you to your country music happy place. Tickets are required for some landmark events though, including the all-star showcase event on Wednesday 19 January, as well as for some of the shows at pubs and clubs, so if you have your heart set on seeing someone, in particular, your best bet is to keep checking the official ticket website and snap up tickets to those events when they go on sale.