The cat’s out – and oh, what a festival it will be

ONE of the worst kept secrets in Tamworth country music circles is out – Toyota is the new naming rights sponsor of the 2013 Tamworth Country Music Festival.

The festival will be known as Toyota Country Music Festival, Tamworth 2013 and celebrates the 20-year relationship between country music and Toyota, which has played a part in the festival since 1993. 

The partnership also represents a significant move forward for Tamworth, according to mayor Col Murray.

“The Tamworth Country Music Festival has come from humble beginnings as a local radio station promotion and grown over 41 years to become a festival on the world stage, the second largest country music festival in the world,” he said.

“Toyota has been intrinsically linked with Tamworth country music since 1993 and has been invaluable in supporting and growing this great Australian event. 

“This partnership is a wonderful recognition of our joint commitment to the future of Australian country music and represents a great milestone for the city of Tamworth.”

Cr Murray said the sponsorship was a long-term arrangement.

“I believe this creates a new, higher value for the festival and the value of that brand attachment sets a benchmark for other sponsorships we’re likely to have discussions with in the future,” he said.

“This recognises the true national value of our festival and is probably one of the biggest announcements we’ve had.”

The self-confessed Toyota man and country music fan said the sponsorship deal enabled Toyota and the Tamworth Country Music Festival to set the scene for the future of Australian country music and consolidate this.

“Toyota has a real attachment and leadership role in the country, too,” Cr Murray said.

“When we think about Toyota, we think about farmers and country. Country music is very Australian, Tamworth is very Australian and the Toyota brand is very Australian. We’re really proud to have Toyota on board.”

He said this sponsorship was an important step in the future of country music in Australia.

Toyota has promoted country music talent and development through its involvement in Toyota Star Maker, plus Toyota’s free Concert in the Park, the Country Music Awards of Australia and the famed Toyota Cavalcade as well as working with Lee Kernaghan and The McClymonts. 

The attachment of the iconic international brand to the festival as naming rights sponsor is not only the joint celebration of 20 years in partnership, but is an important recognition from Toyota of the rural Australian communities who have supported Toyota in Australia for over 50 years.” 

The partnership is part of Toyota’s declaration of thanks to those 

communities and its pledge of continual support of the country music 

industry, festival director Paul Sullivan said.

He said the Tamworth Country Music Festival had seen a positive reinvigoration in recent years with crowds swelling well in excess of 55,000 people in 2012, and Toyota’s partnership reconfirmed the joint commitment made by Tamworth and Toyota to the future of Australian country music.

“Festivals all over Australia are seeing a resurgence in popularity,” Mr Sullivan said.

“This partnership with Toyota and the Tamworth Country Music Festival will allow our great Australian festival to grow and develop further so we maintain our rightful position as the biggest music festival in the southern hemisphere and the second largest country music festival in the world.”

The 2013 festival runs from Friday, January 18 to Sunday, January 27.

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