READY or not, Tamworth Country Music Festival is here.
Crowds have rolled in on campervans, boot-scooted and hitch-hiked their way to the country music capital for the 10-day twang-fest.
MP Kevin Anderson sent a husky-voiced welcome to festival-goers after a weekend at the Parkes Elvis Festival with his band Splashpool.
"The Tamworth Country Music Festival will be a cracker; make no mistake about that," he said.
"The big stars are still coming, everybody is ready to go and we're ready to hit the go button this Friday night with the opening concert in Bicentennial Park.
"Let the music and fun begin, come and enjoy regional NSW."
Mr Anderson's own band Splashpool will hit the stage on Saturday night at The Albert Hotel.
Here at the Leader, we'll be bringing you our top picks every day for the festival along with hidden gems, delicious bites and the best places to escape the summer heat, so make sure to sign up to our festival newsletter online.
The Tamworth Country Music Festival will be a cracker; make no mistake about that.MP Kevin Anderson
All the big names are back in 2020, with the addition of Cold Chisel's highly-anticipated concert in Scully Park.
As drought and horror bushfires have ravaged northern NSW, the festival needs support from Australia's country music lovers more than ever.
The crowd swell is expected to be down with many unable to travel from the south coast to Tamworth.
Hotel bookings across the board took a 13 per cent hit.
In response, Tamworth Regional Council launched the Festival Friendly Business program to try to get visitors behind local business.
This year it's more important than ever to help support the city, mayor Col Murray said.
"We're obviously smack bang in the middle of the worst drought on record and that has a profound effect on people's capacity to earn and spend," he said.
"We ask people to spend as much as they can and think about local businesses that support the festival and community."
With water restrictions on Level 5 there will be plenty of dust to kick up dancing.
Campers have been given information packs to keep them on top of saving Tamworth's most precious resource, Cr Murray said.
"We ask our visitors to be conscious of our limited water, be careful of that and help us ensure we can endure this drought," he said.