PHOTO: Country music stars Adam Harvey and Troy Cassar-Daley.
The secrets of Tamworth’s success
17th January 2014
In the below podcast, Tamworth Country Music Festival consultant and John Williamson’s music manager, David Woodward, tells Veronica Hope of The Tourism News why Tamworth is so successful as a festival, and how the town avoids all those drunken bad news stories that plague other Australian tourism events.
Averaging 50,000 people over 10 days, Tamworth has 10pm lockouts, and the result is better overall for venues. This coordinated effort is organised well in advance by the Festival Advisory Group and the Tamworth Liquor Accord.
Woodward explains that a huge reason Tamworth is so successful is because artists take all their own risks – artists book the venue and their own accommodation etc. The council manages promotion of the Festival in bigger markets.
The unique business model of the Festival results in a mean ticket price of $45 per show, rather than a pricey overall ticket that can discourage festival-goers. It also means that people can enjoy the festival at their own pace.
In the Tourism Conversations podcast, Woodward explains that Tamworth Regional Council are particularly supportive to tourism. Woodward cites an example of another festival in WA that aspires to be as big as Tamworth, but the latter town still has to pay for e.g. storage space owned by the council, and for the wages of council staff time spent on the project. Woodward says this isn’t ‘support’.
Listen to the podcast on The Tourism News website here or sign up to Tourism Conversations to download that episode and many more by going straight to iTunes.
Stars align for festival launch
COUNTRY music fans have been waiting about 355 days for this, but tonight the Tamworth Country Music Festival will be officially opened in Toyota Park at 7pm.
It’s the 42nd year of the world’s second-biggest country music party. And with thousands of visitors in town early, Friday night’s party won’t be one to forget.
The event will kick off with whip-cracker Nathan Griggs on stage to perform amazing feats. Hosted by the Sunny Cowgirls and headlined by Adam Harvey and Troy Cassar-Daley, it will cap off last year’s sellout The Great Country Songbook Tour. Adam and Troy were impressed with the size of the stage, which is bigger than any they’ve had in Toyota Park.
“I haven’t played it for years, because I normally don’t get here until Tuesday and then I run around, so it’s special to do it this festival,” Troy said.
“It’s great that it’s completely different to our normal festival shows, because we’ll do as many songs as we can fit in from The Great Country Songbook.”
Adam said he remembered coming to the opening concert with his parents as a teenager and walking across from the motel they stayed in.
“I remember watching the singers on the big stage, so this is pretty special for me,” he said. “We’ll kick the festival off in style and it’s a good one for the families.”
They will be joined by Melbourne’s Lachlan Bryan, Nashville-based Australian singer-songwriter Audrey Auld and 2013 Toyota Star Maker Kaylee Bell for the free concert.
Tamworth mayor Col Murray said the opening concert promised to be a spectacular start to the festival.