THE best of the buskers lining Peel Street during the country music festival have battled it out.
Tamworth local Lane Pittman walked away with first place. He gets a $2000 cash prize, which he's putting towards his tour with Luke Combs in August.
He also won two paid gigs at the Courthouse Hotel and the opportunity to perform at the Opening Concert during the 2024 festival.
"There was a couple of things that I knew I could have done better, so I was extremely surprised to win," he said.
Ziggy McNeill from Freshwater took out second place, and Maddie Warden from Walgett was crowned People's Choice winner.
It was an emotional night for third place winner, Scott Rathman Jnr.
As hard as it is being a musician, being a country performer in Adelaide is even tougher, he said.
But he's found his tribe.
Playing music as a full-time dad with his three children under the age of five is how they get through, he said.
"I was sleeping out the car, writing music everyday, performing everyday where I could, even if I needed to busk," he said.
At his father's suggestion, he started a GoFundMe to get him to the 2023 festival.
Within weeks, the fundraiser hit more than $2000 and blew past the halfway mark just before he headed off.
"I'm so grateful," he said.
"This is where I belong."
It was Tamworth local Matthew Barratt's third time busking on Peel Street. The 17-year-old Oxley High School student dreams of decking out a combi and travelling the coast going gig to gig.
"I was talking with some of the other buskers about how as a small town kid, all you want to do is get out of there," he said.
"But when all the people from all around Australia come to Tamworth for the festival, you hear about how they think it's this amazing place.
"It really puts it into perspective of how lucky we actually have it, how awesome Tamworth actually is for an aspiring musician."
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