Nundle rocking on the fringe of festival

The cool country village of Nundle is one of a number of centres that offer outlying country music events to the main Tamworth Country Music Festival.

And this year, the place more famous for its Chinese and gold mining festivities reckons it rocks when it comes to country music on the outskirts of the big festival.

They’ve even produced a souvenir T-shirt slogan, Tamworth Sings, Nundle Rocks, for the occasions.

Nundle will present 28 acts in 24 shows across nine days of this year’s festival.

A spokeswoman for the local business development committee says Nundle, with a population of 300 and 60km south east of the country music capital, is one of the towns benefiting from the festival overflow.

For the second year Nundle Business Tourism and Marketing Group is promoting the town during the festival under the banner, Nundle Why Rush It?

Seven businesses are also offering incentives for festival visitors, including gold panning at Mount Misery Gold Mine Cafe daily and tours of the Nundle Woollen Mill. 

This year for the first time there is a bus service between Tamworth and Nundle visitor information centres twice daily from January 18-27. A shuttle bus to The DAG Sheep Station leaves Nundle VIC half an hour before scheduled shows.

Fossickers’ Tourist Park owner Heath Atchison says his cabins and powered sites are 100 per cent booked with people coming from throughout the eastern states.

“Of the people arriving 65 per cent are return guests, 20 per cent are recommended, and 15 per cent are new people,” Heath says.

“They choose Nundle because they can pick the shows they want to see in Tamworth, then have a break day to see acts at Nundle, relax around the area, or just chill out.

“Nundle is a peaceful town, it is cool of a night, and visitors can recharge from the hustle and bustle of Tamworth.”

Jim Aspinall, who with wife Marie, coordinates bookings for the Hills of Gold Motel, Birches Bed and Breakfast and Mount Misery Gold Mine Retreat, says all three properties are completely booked for the latter part of the festival. He attributes this to the appeal of entertainment at The DAG sheep Station and The Peel Inn.

DAG Sheep Station owner John Krsulja says ticket sales for eight shows during the 2013 Country Music Festival are 10 per cent up on last year’s festival.

Musical events include John Scholten’s second album launch and two Australia Day shows featuring Rod Dowsett, Neville Anderson, Emmy Neilson, Col Finley, Nellie Donovan, Mark Atkins on didgeridoo and bush poets.

Musicians and Nundle residents Toni Swain and Jeff Gibson programmed acts at The Peel Inn for the first time, calling on friends in the alternative country and rock ‘n roll genres.

“The Peel Inn’s Nathan Schofield was looking for a new direction and to inject some attitude into the pub’s line up,” Toni says.

“When our artists were approached to play at The Peel Inn, they jumped at the opportunity to be involved in a new alternative country music venue.”

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