"A general, once a year get-together for country music followers"
On the Australia Day long weekend 1968, the Tamworth branch of the Modern Country Music Association ran a talent quest which may have been the predecessor of the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
However, the Country Music Association and Tamworth City Council state 1973 as the first year of the Festival when the Country Music Awards were staged by Radio 2TM to support their Country Music Capital promotion.
Other events included the Bluegrass Championships, Hands of Fame, The Roll of Renown, the Rodeo, the Buttercup Open House concert, the Mr Juicy Concerts, busking in Peel Street, the Cavalcade and industry seminars.
In 1974, the Country Music Annual (published by 2TM) described the Australia Day long weekend as “a general, once a year get-together for country music followers”.
Australia Day is 26 January and (since 1988) is a public holiday when it falls on a weekday. The red carpet highlight of the festival, the Golden Guitar Awards, are held on the last Saturday in January each year.
The 38th Tamworth Country Music Festival will be celebrated from Friday 15th January to Sunday 24th January 2010.
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