TALENT quests that gave rise to some of country music's famous faces have struggled to stay afloat in recent years.
Diminished volunteer numbers and a lack of entries has had an impact on what was once a flourishing talent quest circuit, Tamworth Country Music Festival volunteer Lorraine Pfitzner said.
"A lot of artists really want to showcase what they do and by entering talent quests they're hoping to be discovered to go a little bit further in their career," she said.
"There used to be talent quests everywhere, I just think there's not enough people interested in going in talent quests these days, it's evolved."
Last year the circuit lost the Illabo Country Music Stampede after 31 years, it's one of the longer-running talent quests alongside the CCMA Talent Quest in Tamworth that's largely lauded with starting Tamworth Country Music Festival.
I believe a lot of talent quests are folding because younger contestants aren't encouraged to partake.Renee Osborne
Gina Jeffries, Beccy Cole, James Blundell and Alan Caswell all got their starts at talent quests, and it's not all doom and gloom.
The Ardlethan Country Music Festival and Talent Quest is back for its seventh year, it started out to support younger contestants as more talent quests dropped junior sections, organiser Renee Osborne said.
"We found that the younger they get involved the more likely they are to stick at it, with the majority of gigs in pubs and clubs the opportunities for them to perform are few and far between," she said.
"I believe a lot of talent quests are folding because younger contestants aren't encouraged to partake - they get one section and one song, that's it.
"Sometimes they have traveled five, six, even eight hours for that opportunity to be on stage."
In her area, Ms Osborne said she's lost talent quests from Parkes, Forbes, Griffith and Golbourn due to a lack of volunteers or those that do going into retirement.
"It all comes back to nurturing youth," she said.
"Encouraging them, supporting them, helping them and in turn they will help you right back."
Country music clubs are an option for performers to get stage time but they're more commonly found in Queensland. Tamworth's CCMA Talent Quest is still running after 51 years.