YOUNGER and closer-to-home crowds have been observed at the festival, which "goes a long way to building a future fan base".
They're the anecdotal findings of sponsors, venues and other stakeholders, organiser Barry Harley said.
The official stats won't be crunched for a while yet, but the first weekend had "a very, very strong crowd".
"[This included] 7000-8000 at Chisel, about 4000-5000 down at the park at Star Maker, plus several of the younger venues - The Albert, the Tamworth, the Longyard - all reported excellent crowds," Mr Harley said.
"Maybe we've lost a few of the older, seasoned travellers, but they've certainly been more than adequately replaced by what appears to be a younger, maybe local, crowd."
Many grey nomads had been temporarily "deterred from Tamworth" by drought and bushfires.
"Whether that has resulted in that more family engagement, more younger, more local engagement, we're not sure at this point, but it is encouraging."
The Stefanovics of Sydney are at the festival for the first time as a busking opportunity for Jamie, 12.
Sandra Stefanovic said it might be "an annual pilgrimage from now on".
"He's pretty much into the country music scene at home and he's been really encouraged to come out and have a sing and a play here.
"There's been a constant buzz of people coming through ... it's been great for exposure for him and makes a good atmosphere."
The family mentioned Family Zone and FanZone as some of their top spots.
Mr Harley said the festival's target markets were die-hard fans, families and young adults, the latter two vital to its future.
"What we've been doing is projecting a broader image of the genre, that there are elements in the country music genres that will satisfy their musical tastes, even if they're not dyed-in-the-wool country music fans ...
"Through our surveys, it's indicated we've lowered the average age of visitors from 55 four or five years ago to around 49, [which] indicates to us we are attracting that younger demographic and the families.
"That in itself goes a long way to building a future fan base, and future visitors who go away with happy memories of Tamworth."