Busking returns to usual format for Tamworth Country Music Festival

BUSKING will return to its traditional form at next year’s Tamworth Country Music Festival – which is only 43 days away.

The festival was launched in Tamworth yesterday under the trees in Bicentennial Park, with special guest Troy Cassar-Daley providing a song to celebrate.

Tamworth Regional Council mayor Col Murray said comments from the wash-up meeting and the extensive survey conducted this year indicated people wanted the busking left as it was.

“They said clearly ‘don’t mess with busking’. Everyone loves to hate busking,” he said.

Council’s business and events director John Sommerlad said getting the busking right was “a bigger challenge than NASA had getting man on the Moon”.

Buskers will now negotiate with businesses to play on Peel St outside the premises, as they have done in the past.

Troy said busking needed to be organic.

“I was a busker and it’s like life – nothing can be perfect,” he said.

“It’s what makes the festival. You can walk down the street and hear every walk of life and that’s what country music is all about.”

Business and events manager Gavin Flanagan said council would take a hard line on noise levels.

The focus this year will be on saluting Slim Dusty’s contribution to the festival and country music.

Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson said festival organisation was a continual improvement exercise.

He said the focus needed to be on the artists who made the event.

“Without the artists, we don’t have a festival,” he said.

This year will see more focus on Tamworth regional talent, with Tamworth Pride performances on the stage at Bicentennial Park.

There will also be FamilyZone, changes to FanZone with it running from the post office building, the traders will be back in Fitzroy St and the Telstra “bluey” will set up on the Peel-Brisbane St corner.

Cr Murray said council was still working on accommodation availability and cost.

The festival runs from January 17-26.

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