2018 marks my fourth year going to Tamworth for the Country Music Festival. Although I’ve only been a handful of times, I can easily say that some of my fondest memories and friendships were formed there.
I first went in 2015 when I was fortunate to attend the Junior Course of the CMAA Academy of Country Music in January. I’d just graduated high school and was ‘finding my feet’ as an artist. It was incredible to be taught by the best in the business and meet some of the most talented musicians I know, whom I’m proud to still call friends.
After graduating from the Junior Course of the Academy, my family and I stayed around Tamworth for my first ever TCMF. Laura Byrnes and her family were so kind to us, and even had me up on stage at a few of her gigs. Over the years, Laura and I have stayed best friends and have done our gigs at each TCMF together since.
What I love most about Tamworth is the sense of family and belonging you feel as soon as you arrive. Everyone is there for the same reason; their love for country music. It is such a supportive environment for a musician and it is the perfect place to grow and discover who you are as an artist, while still having the time of your life.
Tamworth has been a special part of my family over the decades, and I’m so happy to continue this tradition. Last year was better than I could have imagined. I attended the Senior Course of the CMAA Academy of Country Music and met the most exceptional musicians, whom I’m also now able to call friends. I played some of my favourite shows as well, including the Maton Guitar Showcase. This was a highlight as I love my little Maton’s like they’re family. I was given my first Maton for my 13th birthday and when I turned 18 my Maton family grew by one. In a perfect world, I’d have a whole clan of them in my bedroom.
Each year has somehow been able to top the last, and 2018 will be no exception. In just over 10 days I’ll be performing on the Toyota Park Stage for the chance to be the 39th Toyota Star Maker. This is honestly a dream come true, and no matter the outcome I’m over the moon with how far I’ve come in the last four years and am so thankful to Star Maker for this opportunity. If you’re going to be at the TCMF later this month, I would love to have your support in the crowd at Toyota Park on Sunday the 21st at 7pm.
For those attending the festival, I hope you all have a wonderful time listening to good quality country music, catching up with old friends and making new ones along the way. If you’re not coming along this year, I hope to see you there in 2019!
Here's where I'll be playing during the festival this month:
Saturday 20th 5pm - Fanzone
Sunday 21st 7pm - Toyota Star Maker Grand Final
Monday 22nd 12:30pm - Rising Stars Showcase @ The Southgate Inn
Monday 22nd 7pm - Under the Sails @ The Pub
Tuesday 23rd 10am - TSA Songwriters Sessions @ Post Office Hotel
Tuesday 23rd 4pm - CMAA Senior Academy 2017 Reunion @ The Pub
Tuesday 23rd 8pm - Pure Country Spectacular @ The Capitol Theatre
Thursday 25th 1:30pm - James Blundell @ Wests
Thursday 25th 8:15pm - Lee Kernaghan 25th Anniversary Tour @ TRECC
Friday 26th 12:30pm - TSA Songwriters Sessions @ Cattleman Steakhouse
Sunday 28th 12:00pm - The Pig and Tinder Box