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  • Annie Lewis

Survival guide for the Tamworth Country Music Festival


Jayne Denham at the 2019 Opening Concert. Picture: Tamworth Country Music Festival

It's that time of year again as the Tamworth Country Music Festival kicks off this week.

Have you thought about how you will navigate the 10 days and make it to the other side of the city's biggest social event?

Here is your insider's survival guide on looking the part, last-minute accommodation, getting around, what to do in the city and much more.

1. LOOKING THE PART

Get into the festival spirit early and grab your 2020 Toyota hat. A limited number of hats are available until they run out exclusively for Tamworth region residents (please bring licence or rates notice). Hats are $2 each and available from Ray Walsh House until they run out. Proceeds are going to Rural Aid.

2. TICKETS AND EVENTS

The Festival is not gated, so you do not need to purchase a ticket to attend. There are free shows every night in the park, to buskers, stalls, kids activities and street performers there is something for everyone.

Attendees can choose from 2,800+ free and ticketed shows over the 10 days in the pubs, clubs and hotels around Tamworth. To grab tickets for any of the individual shows, click here.

3. ACCOMMODATION

There's no doubt that thousands book or prepare their accommodation early, but if you have made a last-minute decision to attend do not despair. Whether you prefer camping, motel, hotel, caravan park, B&B or self-contained style accommodation - there is plenty around.

The Riverside Camping Grounds are a central camping location next to the Peel River and just minutes walk from the musical hype and action in the Tamworth CBD. You could also check out Air BnB or Stayz for home hosting options. In the lead-up and during the festival, check accommodation here or call Tamworth Visitor Information Centre on (02) 6767 5300 for last-minute options.


4. GETTING AROUND

The last thing you want to be doing is driving in Tamworth around the festival. It's best to walk and take in as much as you can, but for when the distance is too far here are some great options.


Taxis - The CBD taxi rank is located on Fitzroy Street outside Peel House (near the Tamworth Town Hall):

  1. Tamworth Taxi's: 6766 1111

  2. 13CABS: 132 227

  3. Eco VIP (Corporate Travel/Taxi Service): 6762 0282

Festival Express Bus:

Jump on the Festival Express to avoid the traffic and get in between venues easily. Tamworth Buslines operate the bus service. Enquiries about the service should be directed to Tamworth Buslines on 02 6762 3999 or info@tamworthbuslines.com.au.

Bus routes:

  1. Click here for Festival Express Routes Map

  2. Click here for Festival Express Timetable

  3. Click here for Festival Express Regional Timetable

5. STREET CLOSURES

GENERAL FESTIVAL:

  1. Fitzroy Street (Smith Place egress to Peel Street) will be closed from 5 am January 14 to 6 pm, January 28.

  2. Kable Avenue (Brisbane Street to the south of Fitzroy Street) will be closed from 5amJanuary 15 to midday January 28.

  3. Peel Street (White Street to Brisbane Street) will be closed from 4 am, January 16 to 7 pm, January 27.

CARTER STREET CAMPING AREA:

  1. Carter Street (Plain Street to Bridge Street) will be closed from 7 am January 10 to 6 am, January 28.

  2. Plain Street (Ebsworth Street to Carter Street) will be closed from 7 am January 10 to 7 am, January 28.

TOYOTA CAVALCADE: The following will be closed from 6 am to 11 am on January 25.

  1. Kable Avenue (Hill Street to Roderick Street)

  2. Macquarie Street (Marius Street to Peel Street)

  3. O'Connell Street (Marius Street to Peel Street)

  4. Peel Street (Brisbane Street to Bligh Street; Hill Street to Murray Street; Hill Street to White Street)

  5. Roderick Street (Kable Avenue to Byrnes Avenue)

6. FRINGE FESTIVAL

The introduction of a brand-new Festival Fringe program will expand the evening entertainment on offer this TCMF, with bright and colourful performers set to fill the Kable Avenue and Fitzroy Street intersection well into the night.


Held each night from Friday to January 26, Festival Fringe will feature an outstanding and hilarious array of juggling, balancing, bending, dancing and tossing performances; and festival-goers of all ages are encouraged to stop by and enjoy the shows.


For more information, click here.


7.MORE THAN COUNTRY MUSIC

Tamworth has a lot more to offer than great tunes, so get out and explore the city. It's been a tough time for the region, so support local businesses where you can here.


Whether you need a good cup of coffee, a tasty feed or maybe even a present for someone back home (#buyfromthebush) - this city has it all.


Businesses displaying a 'Festival Friendly' sticker will be offering special deals throughout the Festival. For a full list of participating businesses, click here.


8. ACCESSIBILITY

The TCMF is for everyone, and measures have been put in place to ensure that the events are accessible.


Accessible parking, toilets and venue entries have been created. For more information click here.


9. WHAT'S ON

There are over 2,800 shows running across multiple venues over ten big days of the festival, but that is not all that is on offer.

Check out these iconic events (some require tickets to be purchased in advance):

  1. Toyota Golden Guitar Awards

  2. Stages (including Toyota Park & FanZone)

  3. Coca Cola Country

  4. Toyota Country Music Cavalcade ABCRA National Finals

  5. Country Music Attractions

If you still have questions head to https://www.tcmf.com.au/ for a comprehensive guide.


10. CHECKLIST FOR THE DAY

There is nothing worse than leaving your house or accommodation for the day and realising you left behind something important.

So here is a handy checklist:

  1. Sunnies, sunscreen and hat - it gets hot in Tamworth so be pr

  2. Water bottle

  3. Tamworth Country Musical Festival official guide or app

  4. Tickets for shows you have purchased

11. TUNE INTO TAMWORTH'S OWN

And last, but not least, make sure you tune in to 2TM to hear exclusive artist interviews, live broadcasts and the latest local news.



LOCAL News

with Annie Lewis