COUNTRY music fans old and new are happy campers this week, as they tune into a much quieter, cooler and relaxed January in Tamworth than normal.
Austin Tourist Park regulars Margaret and Glenn Vile have made the trip north from Canberra for the Tamworth Country Music Festival every year for almost a decade. 2021 was to be no different.
"We walked out of last year and thought that was the best year yet, now this one is probably going to get rated down the other end but that's life," Glenn said.
"There is stuff around if you have a look ... and you can go travelling around the area too."
Margaret said it was an email from Austin Tourist Park promising a program of country music events at the grounds that got them to hit the road.
"There is no comparison between listening to something live and listening to it on CD or on the radio," she said.
"It's the January school holidays, and you don't want to go away with 54 million kids so when we found out the park was doing something we were so pleased."
Bronwyn Gault and Collyn Crowhurst have rolled into Tamworth each year for the country music spectacular for the past eight years.
The pair are usually busy busking on Peel Street, but have made the most of a break this year by bringing a new puppy along to Tamworth.
"The weather has been better than normal and we aren't dying of heat exhaustion, normally we finish busking at lunchtime and jump in the pool," Bronwyn said.
She said she's been enjoying catching up with other regular festival-goers and will go to the Golden Guitar Awards on Saturday.
Central Coast resident Louise Slater has arrived for her first ever stay in Tamworth.
A group of 10 friends committed to the country music festival dissolved when the cancellation was announced, but Louise and her daughter Simone wanted to give the city a go and "support the town".
"We'll do a couple of things each day - there is so much to do," Louise said.
The Marsupial Park, the shops and the Botanic gardens are some attractions on their hit list.
They said they'll try again next year for a "comparison", to see what the fully-fledged festival is like.
"We are loving the peace and quiet," Louise admitted.
The travellers told the Leader they were grateful to the park and the Tamworth community for putting on a show.