The Hats Off To Country festival may be considered the younger sibling to Tamworth's show-stopping country music festival, but it's far from irrelevant.
That's according to The Tamworth Hotel owner Luke Prout, who said the hotel was putting on its biggest line up of bands for the mini-2023 festival, which runs from July 6 to 9.
"It's nice to have something in the middle of the year - and it's nice to see some of our favourite bands and our friends who you might have to wait 12 months between seeing," he said.
"It's another good opportunity for Tamworth people, and people to visit Tamworth, and see free entertainment, which we do here at The Tamworth."
The Tamworth Hotel tries to represent the country music scene all year round, Mr Prout said.
"Country music is extremely important to this business," he said.
"It's just a great way for bands who are touring through [to] stop in, hopefully build more of a local crowd and local following prior to the country music festival each January."
Other venues gearing up to make the most out of the Hats Off To Country festival running is The Pub, Moonshiners, and The Longyard Hotel.
Tamworth local Lane Pittman will perform at The Pub before hitting the road with US country musician Luke Combs' Australia-New Zealand tour in August.
"Tickets to Lane's [Tamworth] show have been hugely popular, getting snapped up as soon as they went on sale months ago," a spokesperson for The Pub Group said.
"There's still a few tickets left for anyone keen to see him while they can."
Country music fans may be persuaded to head to Moonshiners for Songwriters in the Round, featuring award-winning Andrew Swift, Ashleigh Dallas and Kristy Cox on Saturday, July 8, and the Australian Bush Balladeers showcase on Sunday, July 9.
A free line-up is on offer at The Longyard, with local bands Savage Groove, Daniel Thornton and Brother Hollow, plus emerging country musician Jeremy Turner.
The Longyard is expected to be just as busy as it would be during January's country music festival, the spokesperson said.
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