IT IS the city’s biggest party of the year and today marks 100 days until the start of the 2018 Tamworth Country Music Festival.
As organisers turn up the heat ahead of the official opening on January 28, Tamworth’s own country stars are also gearing up for a ripper event. Festival founding father Max Ellis said he was looking forward to another successful festival.
“One of the things that is really interesting is we are now only four years away from the 50th festival and that's going to be a real milestone,” he said.
“For any event of this type to last that long, it must have struck some very sound notes with the audience that it's catering to.”
While some might say it couldn’t possibly get any better than 2017 for John Krsulja after taking home a Golden Guitar Award for The Old Man’s Shed with Luke O’Shea, the Dag Sheep Station owner says he is looking forward to next year’s event.
“That’s the great thing about Tamworth, it’s getting bigger and getting better,” he said.
“It’s the social aspect of it, it seems to be improving, a lot more artists and a lot more fans.”
Jodie Crosby has been making new music and is excited to share it at the big event.
“We’re seasoned and we love it,” she said.
“The atmosphere is amazing, we are so lucky to live here and have it at our feet.”
Crosby’s sister Kelly was just as enthusiastic.
“It’s a great way to catch up with old friends, there is so much on and we all get together – it’s good fun, we absolutely love it,” she said.
“The week and a half before the festival, when you watch all the campers start to arrive and everyone in the main street, that’s when it gets really, really exciting.”
Ethan Crosby-Wolfe is 23-years-old and hasn’t missed a festival. With music in his blood, the emerging artist says the 2018 event could be his best yet.
“Hopefully I’ll be out there more next year, last year I did a really cool gig with my cousin Kira and that was a big wake up call that that’s what we want to do and I am so excited,” he said.
Local artist Sally-Anne Whitten has joined in on the chorus of excited local country stars.
“It's always been my favourite time of year, and I prefer to count down the festival rather than Christmas,” she said.
“I'm releasing a new album this festival so it's extra special for me.. and also slightly nerve wracking to know it's only 100 days away.”
Ryan Sampson is now putting the finishing touches on his festival shows.
“I am absolutely pumped, we’re actually recording the string section at the moment for our Strings Around the Campfire Show, we’re looking forward to a great show,” Mr Sampson said.
“I hold out for festival every single year.”