TAMWORTH’S iconic Queen of Country Music Quest looks set to be saved from the brink of collapse after a mystery syndicate threw it an 11th hour lifeline yesterday.
The quest, a country music festival staple for the past 30 years, looked doomed earlier this week when the Tamworth Business Chamber (TBC) made the shock decision to walk away from managing the event, but a crisis meeting yesterday has all but guaranteed the quest will return in 2014.
While an official announcement is expected to be made in the coming days, The Leader has learned a conglomerate of local organisations – and a generous donation from a mystery benefactor – have combined to save the event.
“It looks highly likely the quest will be saved,” TBC president Tim Coates said.
“I’m absolutely delighted that after five months trying to find a way through, we have achieved a fantastic outcome. The new group encompasses a diverse range of people and a formal announcement will be made in the next few days.”
News of the quest’s possible demise sent shockwaves through the community on Tuesday, with civic leaders and a host of former contestants urging council or a service group to rescue the festival favourite.
Reigning “queen” Sophie Dewhurst said she was ecstatic the quest had found a new committee.
“It’s absolutely fantastic because the quest has so much potential and it would be a real shame to lose it. I’ve got so much out of it this year and I’d love other girls to have the same opportunities I did,” Ms Dewhurst said.
The quest allows local women aged 18 to 35 to act as ambassadors at the annual country music festival, with two contestants ultimately being crowned queen and princess.