BETTY and Barry Bailey have pulled up in Tamworth for the country music festival since 1984.
True to form, the veterans are back in their usual shady spot for another year.
“We love the music, we’ve been coming to the same caravan park since it was a shire park,” Mr Bailey said.
“Where we live there’s no shops and no traffic lights.”
Travelling all the way from Western Australia, the couple clocked up nine days in travel time and at least 5000 kilometres on their way to the country music capital.
They also raised the first $1000 for Tamworth’s Ronald McDonald House, Mr Bailey played the music and Mrs Bailey sold the raffle tickets.
Living in a caravan full time, the couple set off in 1984 with two kids, a dog and a budgie and have lived like grey nomads ever since.
“The kids are still alive but the dog and the budgie are long gone,” Mr Bailey said.
Next door Janet and Robert Vear are here for their ninth festival, and Mr Vear said the yodelling and fiddle players are his favourite gigs.
“This is home,” he said.
“It’s magic during festival and as soon as we got here my wife started ticking off shows in the program.”
The Toyota Country Music Festival is an opportunity to catch up with old friends, and for the caravan parks it’s a welcome financial boost.
Big4 Paradise caravan park assistant manager Louise Charleson is gearing up for her third festival.
“We’re already booked in all of our accommodation and those people stay for 10 days,” she said.
“Most people get here at least a week or 10 days before the festival.
“It’s brilliant, it’s great for the town and great for business.”
The Tamworth Country Music Festival kicks off on January 18.
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