Tamworth, Australia's biggest country music festival, is going ahead this weekend despite the floods devastating Queensland, but crowds are expected to be lower than in the past.
Around 4,000 people are expected to attend the opening night concert in Bicentennial Park, festival director Steve Bartlett says, but that is down on last year's event.There will be festival events for flood relief. Here's what the Tamworth Web Site says:
"At this stage we're anticipating probably about a 30 per cent reduction in numbers," he said.
Many of the regular visitors to the Country Music Festival come from Queensland, particularly regional towns like Gympie, which has been inundated by floodwaters.
Many of the main roads leading from Queensland to northern New South Wales have also been cut.
The 2011 JAYCO TAMWORTH COUNTRY MUSIC FESTIVAL will commence this Friday for ten’s days of celebrations and over 2,500 scheduled events contrary to bogus reports suggesting otherwise.
The major events, big name acts, buskers, camping and non-stop entertainment will engulf Australia’s country music capital as it delivers its 39th event.
Whilst devastating floods and raging waters have torn through the ‘sunshine state’, the NSW inland city of
Tamworth is ignoring rumour’s that its iconic annual event will not only proceed in 2011 or that some elements standard within the festival makeup and fibre will be shelved due to minimal rains recently received across the region.
Instead, organisers are hoping the event will provide opportunity for the country music fraternity, locals and visitors to show support for the northern neighbours.
Giving the opportunity to dig deep and give generously, several major concert events have been organized as fundraising drives. Some of the confirmed events raising funds include THE QUEENSLAND FLOOD RELIEF Concert, held on Monday 17th January 3.30pm to 6.00pm at BLAZES, Country Update Magazine’s STARRY STARRY ONE NIGHT STAND Flood Relief Concert held on Wednesday 19th January at 8pm to 11pm at The Pub and LEE KERNAGHAN’S Outdoor Concert, held on Friday 21st January in Bicentennial Park.
In addition to the above musical fundraisers, Tamworth Regional Council has placed a donation bin at Festival HQ (Tamworth Regional Council Building) for the duration of the internationally recognised event as a central location to deposit and donate for the flood victims. All monies raised will be delivered to the QUEENSLAND PREMIER’S FLOOD RELIEF FUND.
“The city of Tamworth is looking greener than ever and more pristine than what most of our previous visitors would have ever seen it before. Whilst we remain dry and move ahead into our 2011 event, we urge the local community and visitors to get behind and support activities planned that will provide assistance to the Queensland communities affected”, said Councillor Col Murray, Mayor of Tamworth.
The 2011 Jayco Tamworth Country Music Festival commences this Friday 14th January 2011 and concludes on Sunday 23rd January 2011. The 39th Jayco Country Music Awards of Australia will be presented on Saturday 22nd January 2011.
Other major highlights and artists confirmed for the 2011 Jayco Tamworth Country Music Festival include Kenny Roger’s first Australian tour date, Kasey Chambers, John Williamson, Lee Kernaghan, Troy Cassar-Daley, John Butler Trio, Wendy Matthews, Beccy Cole, Adam Harvey, Toni Childs, Melinda Schneider and Adam Brand just to name a few.