Locals won't have to pay a cent to catch some of Australia's biggest country music acts during the historic 50th Tamworth Country Music Festival.
Travis Collins and Adam Brand will be among more than 100 performers set to take to the Bicentennial Park stage for a series of huge gigs as part of a beefed-up Stars under the Stars concert series - and without a ticket in sight.
Festival Manager Barry Harley said the 2022 festival is shaping up to be as big as it was during the "halcyon days of the festival".
"The bookings that we've actually had from the artists and the promoters and the entrepreneurs are returned back to what it was a couple of years ago," he said.
"We're very, very conscious that just about every artist that's of any note [has signed up], plus the second tierers and right the way down to the buskers."
The historic event will be among the first to return since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, he said.
Ordinarily a free show for young and up-and-coming musicians, Stars under the Stars will next year feature some of Australia's best country music stars joining them on stage. The event is funded by a $150,000 state government grant.
Mr Harley named Adam Brand and Travis Collins, but said there were several more artists in the works.
"We're going to see some headline acts there that we've never seen before, certainly not performing for free, purely to attract more people to the event, from the region and [outside] the region," he said.
Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson said the 2022 line-up is set to include an incredible 2,000 shows, featuring 700 artists in 80 venues.
"When the decision was made to cancel the 2021 Tamworth Country Music Festival, I spoke in parliament of the need for the NSW Government to support Tamworth and to protect the future of the Festival," he said.
"It's fantastic that the NSW Government is now helping the festival to re-launch with a bigger and better event program and the Tamworth community is looking forward to welcoming back visitors with open arms."
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