THE SEARCH is on for country music fanatics to join a new group designed to safeguard Tamworth's reputation as the country music capital well into the future.
As it approaches its 50th anniversary, it's important there's enough young blood to keep the festival alive for the next 50 years, Tamworth Regional Council (TRC) mayor Col Murray said.
"It was felt it's coming towards the end of an era where the people who are driving the festival at the moment won't be here forever, this is a succession plan that ensures the council gets the very best advice and support to secure the legacy of what's been gifted to us by those community leaders of the past," he said.
The group will bring together councillors and council staff, music industry envoys, passionate and connected community members and business gurus.
The informal nature of the group is designed to avoid strangling the festival in protocol and procedure.
Festival manager Barry Harley said the goal is to make sure the council is armed with the right tools to make decisions going forward for the next 50 years.
"All this is doing is to catalogue it in so we know it's going to be in place and the council has the opportunity to invite members onto that committee that will hopefully give them a stronger structure for actually making those decisions," he said.
Cr Russell Webb is the council representative on the advisory group which will be a sounding board for the council - it won't be the decision-making authority or have a budget.
The festival is in Tamworth from January 14 to 23.
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