Wow. How do I even begin to explain the experience that was my first ever Tamworth Country Music Festival!? I absolutely loved every single, music-drenched, second!
Sidewalk Chalk Art.
My first tip for anyone considering the trip is JUST DO IT!
You don't have to be the biggest country music fan ever, or a farmer from way out west. You don't have to know every Adam Brand lyric or even know who the hell he is! There is something in Tamworth for everyone!
Which brings us to my second tip... Embrace the change in Australian Country Music.
Country Music is growing and evolving with the next generation. It's not all Slim Dusty and songs about the farm anymore (not that there is anything wrong with this branch of country either). There is a whole wave of new talent and it's time we all accepted that there is a place for everyone in Country Music.
Free hat, Free lanyard, Awesome photo op!
Onto the trip planning tips. Let's start with accommodation.
TCMF (Tamworth Country Music Festival) can be a daunting trip to make the first time round as many camp grounds do not take bookings. I, for one, was terrified at the thought of rocking into town and not being able to find anywhere to put the tent up. Instead, I did my research and opted to stay a little further out of town in order to secure a booked camping site. We ended up at Austin Tourist Park and it was perfect.
Our Campsite Setup.
"So, how do I get around Tamworth?"
Sooooo easily! The bus service for the event was super useful. We paid $20 for a wristband that allowed us unlimited bus rides for the duration of the festival. The buses came every hour to our tourist park and were able to quickly and easily take us to every venue we needed to visit.
More Sidewalk Chalk Art.
One of the biggest concerns going in for me was making sure I got to see all my favourites.
An essential purchase is the yearly guide as it provides the perfect starting point to workout the times people are playing and to start exploring some new (to you) acts. I went through and picked out atleast one time for each act I was desperate to see, making sure they didn't clash. Once that was sorted I was free to fill my time with buskers and seeing more of acts i'd discovered at the festival.
Addimi Acoustic Sessions.
You can easily fill your time at TCMF without purchasing a single ticket!
There is sooooo much going on down Peel St. I could spend a whole week just watching the buskers. If there is something you really want to see, by all means buy a ticket, but don't get fooled by the website suggesting that you will need tickets.