PHOTOS: Hats Off to Country proves to be a real corker

BY ALL accounts, this year’s Toyota Hats Off to Country has been a corker, with artists praising it, a relaxed vibe ever present and plenty of crowd support.

Capital News editor and one of the organising group, Cheryl Byrnes, said it was great to see the 14th festival go off so well.

“It’s a lovely Hats Off, actually – the artists have all commented,” Ms Byrnes said. 

It may not be the biggest festival Tamworth holds each year but it’s certainly popular with fans and performers alike, as it has a much less hectic pace than January’s Tamworth Country Music Festival, allowing for much more interaction between performers and the public. The locals put on a great show of support this year, too, Ms Byrnes said.

“I think Tamworth needs to have a pat on the back: a lot of people have come out this time, which is great,” she said.

At least $12,000 was raised by the 400 people who attended the Adam Harvey gig at West Tamworth League Club on Saturday night.

All shows have been very well attended, including the Jonny Taylor gig at the Tudor Hotel on Friday night and the album launch for this year’s StarMaker winner, Jared Porter, at the Good Companions Hotel on Saturday night. 

Singer-songwriter Shaza Leigh was really pleased with the audience for yesterday’s show at West Tamworth League Club featuring Greg Bain (Central Coast), Michelle and Bob Ovenden (central Queensland), Nowra’s Emma Jene, as well as local artists 2Gals, Bruce McCumstie and piano player/accompanist Peggy Gilchrist.

“The place is filling up already and the concert’s not on until 2pm,” Ms Leigh said.

The DAG Sheep Station has the most number ever of songwriters attending the music workshops – 19 in total, owner John Krsjulja said.

It has proven such a popular concept since it was launched five years ago as part of Hats Off that they’ve extended this year’s workshops by another day – workshops have been held since Thursday and the last one is tomorrow.

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