Price gouging and busking along the Boulevard of Dreams may have preoccupied plenty of those at the annual post mortem into the Tamworth Country Music Festival last night but one man who’s been around long enough and seen plenty of those parties has come up with another bright idea.
Joy McKean won the first ever Golden Guitar for her song Lights on the Hill, the Slim Dusty classic, but now Tamworth hospitality veteran Keith Clark wants to do something similar to the Country Music Capital.
Mr Clark reckons he’s thought about it for years, particularly driving back to Tamworth along the Sydney road or from Gunnedah, but he’s been driven to speak up this year because he thinks it’s time for some more proactive tourist promotions that spread the Tamworth brand.
Just like in the Hollywood Hills, Clark thinks we should be considering putting Tamworth up in lights on our hill, at the back of East Tamworth.
“If you go to Bathurst you can see Mount Panorama inscribed into the mountain there, and with our mountain range as a backdrop to the city, I think the same thing here would be a great spectacle,” Mr Clark said.
“I used to look at it a lot when I was driving back from Gunnedah at night and think about the possibility of it. And if you’re coming from the south into Tamworth you would see it too and along Ebsworth St all visitors into Tamworth would be able to look at it.
“I just think it would become an international icon and it would put us on the map. As a backdrop it would be terrific and it would be like a gateway to the North West.”
The administration manager with the Wests Entertaintainment Group, Mr Clark says the idea also borrows from a bit of graphic art work that hungs on the walls of Smokys, the Wests’ Diggers club restaurant. It shows a posed Adam Harvey in front of an old Tamworth street scene from 1902 that has the Tamworth name dropped into the backdrop of the hills.
Obviously Keith reckons the real deal would be a better upmarket and quality look than the stylised artwork on the wall there.
“I think if we could see Tamworth in big white letters, shiny and lit up at night, it would be a great tourist attraction and a great marketing move,” he said.