The community and the state government have raised about half the cost of new $99,000 statue of country music icon John Williamson, set to be unveiled at the 50th country music festival next year.
The state government will finance about a third of the cost of the new statue, Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson announced on Wednesday.
Country music festival founder Max Ellis, one of the organisers of the fundraising effort, revealed the statue has already received tends of thousands in support.
Local artist Tanya Bartlett, who created the Slim Dusty and Joy McKean statues on Peel Street, is already hard at work on the Williamson statue, he said.
"I think we've done remarkably well," Mr Ellis said.
"I think to reach 50 per cent of our target within what's virtually six weeks is quite remarkable. I'm sure many people are waiting to see when the lockdown ends before they send their cheques. We hope so anyway."
Other major donors include radio announcer Alan Jones and businessman Dick Smith, plus local Bryan Singh and the Singh family.
Boasting tunes like Raining on the Rock, Rip Rip Woodchip and Chandelier of Stars, Mr Williamson has won almost 30 Golden Guitars since the start of his career in 1985.
At this stage the statue is slated to be unveiled on January 22, the last Saturday morning of the final weekend of the festival. Mr Ellis expects "a huge crowd".
It's not yet clear where the statue will go.
"We're confident we'll end up with a very good site in the centre of Tamworth so that this statue will become iconic in the way that Slim and Joy and Smoky have become already," Mr Ellis said.
Country music festival manager Barry Harley said organisers are "really optimistic" the state will be COVID-free by January 2022, permitting a relatively ordinary festival.
Mr Harley said they'd put tickets on sale about a month early, in order to build interest in what is shaping up to be a huge event.
"The feeling we're getting is really, really big. We're meeting regularly with the venues ... they're all reporting good ticket sales even through this uneasy time we've got great ticket sales being generated. We've got most of the major acts already committed and selling. It looks like it will be a very, very powerful and enjoyable festival," he said.
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