Read full articleGore has long been New Zealand's home of country music. Today’s crowds were not disappointed by the talent on display, despite the shortage of genuine looking cowboys.
The Festival web site notes that since 1976 the event has culminated in the New Zealand Gold Guitars award:
This event attracts artists from around the world and continues to grow in stature and popularity. Audience levels reach over 5,000 and the entries in all sections and events total 700 competitors. Visitors to Gore leave with fond memories of the ‘Southern Hospitality’ and along with the locals, just soak up the Country Music atmosphere.
The festival begins on Monday prior to the weekend with a walk up concert and the week continues with inductions into the Hands of Fame, Songwriting and the NZ Country Music Awards for the RIANZ Best Country Album and APRA Best Country Song finals.
The NZ Gold Guitar Awards are held annually on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Queen’s Birthday Weekend. Each day auditions are held in two venues. At the auditions judges choose finalists in the various sections. The Junior and Intermediate finals are held on Saturday night and the senior final night is Sunday. The 40 Plus finals are held prior to the Professional Artists Showcase concert on Sunday afternoon at the end of the auditions.
The New Zealand Gold Guitar Awards are open for artists who have not recorded a product for sale. Contestants may enter as an individual, in a duet and/or as part of a group. Contestants compete in either the junior, intermediate, senior or 40 Plus sections, depending on their age. There are a variety of sections, including male and female solo, gospel, traditional, country rock, duet, yodeling, vocal group, group NZ composition and instrumental.