With the transformation now complete, the Country Music Capital is ready to host another memorable festival, but how will it compare to all those before it?
Early indications are that ticket sales are down, but that does not mean the crowds aren’t coming or that the seats at the shows won’t fill up in the days to come.
But Tamworth has plenty of competition these days and as usual there are also the elements to contend with.
A few years ago it was the Queensland floods which impacted on attendance numbers. This year there are bushfires and some very hot days in recent weeks might have some thinking twice about the trip to Tamworth.
There will, however, be plenty to take their place and while after 40 years the festival has a big reputation, the priority needs to be attracting new fans to the popular event.
While country music has its following, it also has its ups and downs, good years and better years.
To its credit Tamworth Regional Council has introduced new events this year, including the birth of FanZone which will act as a hub for fans and artists right in the centre of the city. The better utilisation of the Peel and Fitzroy streets intersection is long overdue. It is the best piece of festival real estate in the city.
Bicentennial Park will be used more and the inclusion of the Peel St Markets there on Sunday will add to the festival atmosphere, as will the additional events at this venue.
Also playing their part to get the festival moving, are the private venue operators and entrepreneurs who invest heavily in bringing artists to town.
The main attraction, however, will always be the performers who come to Tamworth each year to entertain before appreciative audiences. Without the artists the festival would not exist.
It is important Tamworth continues to invest its efforts in country music and its festival. Every event has a point of market maturity and unless Tamworth keeps making its festival fresh and friendly it runs the risk of becoming tired and uninviting.