In response to Jacqueline van Aanholt’s article on the “raft of ideas from Nashville” (NDL – September 19).
We have our own unique country music in Australia and it’s the appreciation of the fans that has built the success of the festival. These fans do not need Nashville artists and influences to enjoy the music and the unique Tamworth experience.
This is not the first time American artists have been invited to thefestival. It’s happened in previous years, presumably unsuccessful, as these artists haven’t returned.
Will these Nashville artists whohave been invited for the 10 days of the festival be performing, taking away limited dollars from Australian artists? If they are not performing, who is paying for their junket Down Under?
Why would our established Australian artists pay the mega-bucks charged by Tamworth moteliers to come and compete against these internationals whodo not even have a fan base in Australia?
Our country artists give just as much to their fans as any USA artist. Our artists stay on long after their concerts have finished signing autographs and talking with their fans. They make themselves accessible to their fans now. Why would they need to be corralled into a “lucrative” area to meet and greet? And, to whom is this area lucrative? Will the artists get anything out of it?
This would not be the first time council has meddled with the festival, estranging more and more of the core stakeholders – the mainstream Australian country music fans.
In recent years so many North American country music festivals have gone to the wall. They have all had the elite of American country music artists headlining, and these festivals couldn’t survive.
We have something so unique here in Tamworth and yes, some years the numbers are down, but the real country music performers and their fans keep coming. Sure we have our share of “grey nomads” but that too is changing. Young new stars like Amber Lawrence, Tracy Killeen, Luke Austin, our own Aleyce Simmonds and so many others bring their own new crowds.
Give our Australian artists a leg-up and see what the festival can become!
TONY ORR and EVELYN KEANE