MOVERS, shakers and stars piled in to the local launch of 2019 Toyota Country Music Festival to mark the 45 day countdown.
Troy Cassar-Daley delighted audiences with a performance of Wouldn’t Change a Thing from his new album Greatest Hits.
“I want to keep the camaraderie going, like when I was a kid, I’d always loved that feeling of sharing the stage with different artists,” he said.
“Playing an acoustic show makes you feel like you’re in someone’s lounge room.
“This year I was almost scared to do shows in this format and as a 49-year-old to feel like you’re still being challenged and flying without a net is a big thing.”
Tamworth’s own Toyota Star Maker finalists Lizzie Steadman and Stephanie Penrose attended the local launch, along with golden girl Aleyce Simmonds and most of the town’s revered publicans and venue owners.
The local launch is an opportunity to bring locals up to date with the plan festival manager Barry Harley said.
“It’s a bit of a gee-up to get them prepared for January and let them know what we’ve been up to,” he said.
“There’s a lot of things that are exactly the same as previous years because we know that 70 per cent of our visitors are coming back for more than 10 years.
“But the little nuances and opportunities to change and enhance things are what we want people to know about.”
This year buskers will be more heavily policed with a high respect policy on the streets, asked to turn down amplification so all sounds can be heard.
The family zone has also had a tune up and there’s more activities in Fitzroy Street mall.
The plan is to make an awesome experience even better Mr Harley said.
“We’ve started to express our visitors numbers in cumulative numbers and we’re looking at more than 300,000 people over ten days, up to 55,000 some days,” he said.
“It’s a festival like no other and it’s certainly the largest music festival in Australia.”
January’s festival will even see a heel toe polka sanctioned world record attempt, along with fan favourites like the Country Music Queen competition and talent quests.
The 2019 Toyota Country Music Festival is on in Tamworth from January 18 to 27.