Council’s decision to change the layout of the festival has been met with mixed reactions from stall holders.
This year several stalls have been pushed out of the Fitzroy Plaza and on to Peel Street, while many of the stalls on the main drag have been set up in the middle of the road facing out.
Council country music manager Barry Harley hoped the move would allow festival goers more room for seating, and more importantly some extra opportunities to find shade.
The move is also meant to make the festival more user friendly and easier to navigate, however while some stall holders support the changes others question the motives.
Rod Taylor has been coming for 20 years with his stall, Cotton Candy Cowgirls, which was moved from Fitzroy to Peel Street this year and feels like stall holders should have more say.
“It’s that old thing of if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” he said.
“We are the ones that see the changes and see the direction of the foot traffic, but sometimes I feel like council don’t listen to us.
“Don’t get me wrong, council run a fantastic festival, but I would like to see them go back to basics, and listen to the people that see it every day.”
Meanwhile across the street Charlie Crocker has been slinging his Cloud 9 Hanging Chairs at the festival for 13 years and applauds council’s initiative.
“It’s hard to say if it will make any difference, but it could be a good thing,” he said.
“You have to keep trying things because if you keep things stagnant all the time nothing happens – I think it shows council is being innovative.”
At the far eastern end of Peel Street Stuart McLachlan has been selling his wares for 20 years as well, and doesn’t particularly mind where he gets to set up for one simple reason.
“I just love Tamworth and love the festival – it’s great and the people are great,” he said.
“The heat, and moving the stalls around won’t impact on sales I don’t think, it’s always hot, and it’s always good.”
One thing the veteran has noticed however is that visitors aren’t staying in town for as long as they used to.
“People used to come for the full ten days, but now I think most come for four or five – it’s a sign of the times, people are on a budget and everything is getting more expensive,” he said.