TAMWORTH'S golden night of country music glitz and glamour will be lit up by performances from some of the industry's most loved artists.
The McClymonts, Travis Collins, Fanny Lumsden and Casey Barnes are all up for the prestigious Album of the Year award at the Golden Guitar Awards 2021, and will take the stage to share some of the musical magic that put them in the running.
The iconic Tamworth event showcases the top tier of country music tunes and performers, and will be broadcast live from the TRECC to a virtual audience on January 23, in the era of COVID-19.
Singer-songwriters Catherine Britt and Andrew Swift - who both have coveted Golden Guitars under their belts - have been announced as hosts for the evening.
A packed program of performers are set to raise the roof.
Amber Lawrence, Aleyce Simmonds, Kristy-Lee Akers and Dianna Corcoran will play their version of John Williamson's True Blue.
Twelve-time Golden Guitar Award winner Luke O'Shea, first-time nominee Melody Moko, singer-songwriter-producer Shane Nicholson and a special appearance from Kristy Cox with Tommy Emmanuel, filmed in Nashville, will entertain the crowd.
The Bushwackers will perform a medley of their unique hits to mark their 50th anniversary, and a special tribute will celebrate John Williamson's landmark career.
Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA) chairman Dan Biddle said he had been impressed with the resilience of the country music community through the pandemic.
"Following a year where music has helped keep us together, I look forward to celebrating Australian country music creators who have made an outstanding contribution to our cultural and social fabric by continuing to release their work despite the ongoing challenges faced by our industry," he said.
The 49th Golden Guitar Awards night had to be re-imagined to stay in tune with COVID-19 rules, but executive producer Peter Ross said the hard work was worth it.
"I am proud of the show we have been able to compose and the support we have been able to provide the artists," he said.
"I am also proud that Tamworth can continue to celebrate and recognise the achievements of our country music artists during one of the most difficult times for the entertainment industry."
Artists involved in the awards ceremony will attend the event at the TRECC on January 23 if public health orders allow, while some others will chime in virtually.
The audience will watch a livestream.
Tamworth Regional Council and the CMAA confirmed a COVID-safe plan is in place.
Fans can tune into ABC's coverage via the live stream at https://www.facebook.com/LandlineABC or the live radio broadcast at https://www.abc.net.au/country/.
A 90-minute edited highlights program will air on ABCTV +iview at 12.30 pm on January 24.
The show will also be live streamed via www.tcmf.com.au/live and broadcast by KIX Country Radio.
Tickets can be purchased via the Tamworth Country Music Festival website at www.tcmf.com.au/awards.