In January 2024, Tamworth will host the nation’s largest live country music event, welcoming some of the biggest and brightest stars for a 10-day celebration. The first line up of artists and ticketed shows for the 52nd Toyota Tamworth Country Music Festival has been announced, featuring accomplished artists such as Kasey Chambers, Troy Cassar-Daley, Adam Harvey, Brooke McClymont, Adam Eckersley, Lee Kernaghan, Beccy Cole, Casey Barnes, Fanny Lumsden, Amber Lawrence, John Williamson, Graeme Connors, Andrew Swift, Ashleigh Dallas, Loren Ryan, Felicity Urquhart & Josh Cunningham, and Shane Nicholson. The Festival will kick off on 19 January 2024 with the Opening Concert in Toyota Park, followed by 10 epic nights of free entertainment and the prestigious Toyota Golden Guitar Awards on 27 January at the Tamworth Entertainment and Conference Centre.
The 52nd Toyota Tamworth Country Music Festival is scheduled to commence on 19 January 2024, commencing with the Opening Concert at Toyota Park, the festival’s largest venue. This event will feature 10 nights of remarkable entertainment, including the highly anticipated 2024 Toyota Star Maker Grand Final and the Toyota Best of the Buskers competition. Additionally, the Toyota FanZone will offer a multitude of performances by numerous artists, all free of charge, within the main Festival precinct.
One of the highlights of the festival is the esteemed Toyota Golden Guitar Awards, which will take place on Saturday 27 January at the Tamworth Entertainment and Conference Centre (TRECC). This prestigious event not only celebrates the excellence in recording within the country music industry but also showcases the finest talents in Australian country music. The evening will be hosted by the acclaimed Tania Kernaghan, a recipient of multiple Golden Guitar Awards and a nominee for the esteemed ARIA award. Joining her as co-host will be Jason Owen, a nominee for the 2014 Golden Guitar Award.
“For more than five decades, the home and heart of Australian country music has welcomed some of the country’s biggest stars and emerging talent. The Toyota Tamworth Country Music Festival is the nation’s premier country music event and we cannot wait to welcome fans and artists in January 2024.”
Barry Harley, Festival Manager
A highlight of the 2024 Toyota Tamworth Country Music Festival will be the Orchestral Country concert, which will see some of Australia’s best country stars take to the stage to perform with a 30-piece orchestra led by conductor, George Ellis. In addition to some of the Festival’s headline acts, artists also performing include ten-time Golden Guitar award winner Lyn Bowtell, 2023 Video of the Year winner Luke O’Shea, multi-Golden Guitar winner Darren Coggan and Golden Guitar winner and ARIA nominated, Catherine Britt.
Travis Collins’ One of Them Nights concert will be an epic Australia Day party, featuring country pop artist and forming member of ARIA award winning band Sheppard, Amy Sheppard, The Voice 2022 contestant Lane Pittman and emerging talent Sara Berki.
Country music icon Melinda Schneider will perform at the Capitol Theatre during the 52nd Toyota Tamworth Country Music Festival, as well as The Weeping Willows and The Whitlam’s Black Stump Band.
Moonshiners will welcome 2023 Toyota Star Maker Loren Ryan, Andrew Swift, Mickey Pye, Darlinghurst, Jake Davey, Gretta Ziller, Liam Brew, and Colin Lillie & Billie-Jo Porter. While the Longyard Hotel will see performances from Casey Barnes, The Bushwackers, Lyn Bowtell & her Famous Friends, Sara Storer, Viper Creek Band and The Pigs.
Playing at West Tamworth Leagues Club in 2024 will be headline acts Adam Harvey, Beccy Cole, Amber Lawrence and Brooke McClymont and Adam Eckersley, as well as Brian Cadd together with The Long and Short of It, The Hillbilly Goats, 2023 Toyota Star Maker finalist Kiara Rodrigues, Duncan Toombs, Paul Costa, festival funny man Darren Carr & Other Dummies, Amos Morris, and Doug Bruce and the Tailgaters.
The Tamworth Town Hall will host the iconic James Blundell, blues and roots duo Busby Marou and Amber Joy Poulton in Coal Miner’s Daughter, as well as the 80’s & 90’s Country Dance Party, on Monday 22 January, which will see husband and wife, Travis List and Kristy Cox return from Nashville, to perform alongside Roo Arcus, Jeremy Turner, TC Cassidy and many more to bring some country classics to life.
Toyota Australia Chief Marketing Officer, Vin Naidoo said it is an honour to be a major sponsor of the festival for the 32nd year and to support such an incredible line-up of artists.
“On behalf of Toyota Australia, we are looking forward to another summer celebrating the many talented country music artists, from rising stars to iconic country music legends, at the 2024 Toyota Country Music Festival.”
Other ticketed shows include Andy Penkow & Donella Waters, Victoria McGee, Melissa Bajric, Amber Joy Poulton & The Holy Men, Music For McGrath in aid of the McGrath Foundation, The Tamworth Opry, The Ultimate Bluegrass Pickin’ Party with Kristy Cox, The Crooked Button Band, The Golden Fiddle Awards & Showcase, Kevin Sullivan & The Sulli-Vans, The Maton Guitar Showcase, The Roy Orbison Story, Country Turns Pink Fundraiser, LBS Records Music Shows featuring Lindsay Butler and Shaza Leigh, Travellin’ Still, and Fibbers’ Charity Concert for Ronald McDonald House.
The Golden Gig, Sponsored by Macca’s young talent quest will also return for the 52nd Toyota Tamworth Country Music Festival, as well as the popular Toyota Zone and Family Zone.
The first line up of ticketed shows and the 52nd Toyota Golden Guitar Awards will go on sale on 7 July 2023, with hundreds more free and ticketed shows and venues line ups to be announced in the coming months!
Head to the Festival website www.tcmf.com.au for more information.
Golden Guitar Nominations Announced For TCMF 2024
Felicity Urquhart & Josh Cunningham, James Johnston, The Wolfe Brothers and Travis Collins all pick up 6 Golden Guitar Award nominations in total; Top winners from 2023 Golden Guitar Awards, Brooke McClymont and Adam Eckersley pick up 5 nominations.
Following a monumental number of entries and record-breaking number of submissions in several categories for the Toyota 52nd Golden Guitar Awards, Tamworth Regional Council, with the support of the Country Music Association of Australia Inc (CMAA), are pleased to announce the nominees for the 2024 Toyota Golden Guitar Awards.
Several artists are leading the charge into January’s awards, with Felicity Urquhart & Josh Cunningham, James Johnston, The Wolfe Brothers and Travis Collins each picking up six nominations. The top winners from the 2023 Golden Guitar Awards, Brooke McClymont & Adam Eckersley picked up five nominations, while eight-time Golden Guitar and recent ARIA Award winner Fanny Lumsden picked up four nominations.
The full list of nominees for the 52nd Golden Guitar Awards were announced in Tamworth today, at a special event hosted by multi-Golden Guitar Award winner and ARIA nominated, Tania Kernaghan and 2014 Golden Guitar Award nominee Jason Owen.
Toyota Golden Guitar Awards Executive Producer, Mr. Peter Ross said: “This year’s list of nominees is a fantastic celebration of Australia’s vibrant and diverse country music industry. The 2024 Awards will acknowledge their hard work and passion and recognise their creativity and ingenuity. On behalf of Tamworth Regional Council, I would like to congratulate all the nominees in the Toyota 52nd Golden Guitar Awards.”
Overall, 762 entries were received for the 2024 Golden Guitar Awards, which is equal to the record-breaking number received in 2022. The highest number of entries were received in several individual categories, including Song of the Year, Alt Country Album of the Year, Male Artist of the Year, Female Artist of the Year, and Bluegrass Recording of the Year.
Following his first Golden Guitar win in 2023, James Johnston returns to the nominee list with six nominations, including Male Artist of the Year, CMT Video of the Year for his track We Grew Up On, Single of the Year for his song Got It Good, and Toyota Album of the Year and Contemporary Country Album of the Year for his debut album Raised Like That. He’s also nominated for Vocal Collaboration of the Year with Zac & George for their track Some Things Never Change.
Felicity Urquhart & Josh Cunningham have secured six nominations including Country Music Capital News Group or Duo of the Year, while their album Birdsong has been nominated for Traditional Country Album of the Year and Toyota Album of the Year. Their track Size Up has also been nominated in three categories, including Song of the Year, CMT Video of the Year and Single of the Year.
Six-time Golden Guitar Award winners and ARIA nominated, The Wolfe Brothers are in the running for six awards, nominated for Country Music Capital News Group or Duo of the Year. Their sixth-studio album Livin’ The Dream is in contention for Toyota Album of the Year and Contemporary Country Album of the Year, while their track Here’s To the Ones is nominated for Song of the Year. They’re also nominated for Vocal Collaboration of the Year and Single of the Year for their track with Travis Collins, Runnin’ The Country.
On top of his two nominations with The Wolfe Brothers, eight-time Golden Guitar Award winner and 2018 & 2020 ARIA nominated, Travis Collins is also up for Male Artist of the Year, while his eighth studio album Any Less Anymore is up for Toyota Album of the Year and Contemporary Country Album of the Year. His track Raise Me is also nominated for Song of the Year.
Brooke McClymont & Adam Eckersley are nominated for five awards, including Country Music Capital News Group or Duo of the Year, while their debut album Up, Down & Sideways is nominated for Toyota Album of the Year and Contemporary Country Album of the Year. They’re also up for Single of the Year, for their track What Are You Waiting For, while their song Country Music, You And Beer is nominated for Song of the Year.
Newly crowned 2023 ARIA Award winner Fanny Lumsden has been nominated in four categories, including Female Artist of the Year, while her fourth-studio album Hey Dawn is up for Alt Country Album of the Year. Her track Ugly Flowers is nominated for Heritage Song of the Year and her song You’ll Be Fine is a contender for CMT Video the Year.
2023 Toyota Album of the Year winner, Casey Barnes picked up three nominations, as well as Luke O’Shea and Angus Gill. Zac & George make their Golden Guitar Awards nominations debut picking up three nominations. Dual nominations went to John Williamson, Ashleigh Dallas, Kaylee Bell, 2022 Toyota Star Maker Max Jackson, Brad Cox, Duncan Toombs, Matt Scullion, Michael Carpenter & The Banks Brothers, SToReR, Wicker Suite and The Pleasures which features Lachlan Bryan, Catherine Britt and Damian Cafarella.
There were 24 artists with single nominations including 2023 Male Artist of the Year Andrew Swift, Shane Nicholson, 2023 Toyota Star Maker Loren Ryan, Adam Brand, Allan Caswell, Anne Kirkpatrick, Brad Butcher, Busby Marou, Dean Perrett, TC Cassidy, Lane Pittman, Lindsay Waddington, Matt Cornell, Melanie Dyer, Melody Moko, Gareth Leach, Hamish Davidson, Michael Fix, Brendan Radford, Pete Denahy, Sara Berki, The Davidson Brothers, Tom Curtain and Tori Forsyth.
Top Ten Announced For Star Maker ’24
A new generation of country stars will head to Tamworth in January to compete in Australia’s biggest country music talent search, with the top 10 announced in the 44th Toyota Star Maker. This year there are five females and five males in the 2024 Toyota Star Maker top 10, with one returning for the third time. In alphabetical order they are:
Dakota East 30 Elwood Vic
Ethan Calway 25 Warragul Vic
Felicity Dowd 19 Bega NSW
Jake Whittaker 29 Stockleigh Qld
Jay Santilli 33 Officer South Vic
Jemma Beech 31 Singleton NSW
Jimbo Stokes 30 Scone NSW
Nathan Lamont 30 Wagga Wagga NSW
Piper Rodrigues 23 Brisbane Qld
Wade Forster 25 Winton Qld
Toyota Star Maker Coordinator Cheryl Brown says the Australian country music scene is ever-evolving and this year’s top 10 are a good example, offering a variety of country music styles.
“This year’s finalists are going to make it difficult for the judges, as they are a strong, determined and driven group.
“The competition is on, that’s for certain, and with such diversity as country rock, alt country, country pop, traditional and folk, it’s definitely going to be hard to choose one winner.”
Toyota Star Maker is the nation’s longest-running and most respected country music competition. More than 500 artists have performed as finalists over the past 43 years. The Star Maker alumni include Keith Urban, Lee Kernaghan, Beccy Cole and James Blundell along with the latest stars including Kaylee Bell, who is enjoying Billboard success with her song Keith about 1990 winner Keith Urban, Blake O’Connor who’s relocated to Nashville and Max Jackson, newly signed to Stephen White Management and ABC Music, among them.
The top 10 will perform two songs each at the 2024 Star Maker Grand Final on the first weekend of the Toyota Country Music Festival Tamworth, in Toyota Park.
In 2024, Toyota Star Maker will welcome Wheelhouse Agency as a new strategic business partner. Wheelhouse is Australia’s leading country and Americana agency and is a joint venture between industry heavyweights Chugg Music, Select Music and artist manager Dan Biddle. The team from Wheelhouse will handle live bookings for the Toyota Star Maker winner throughout the year, with a view to building long-lasting relationships and success for the winner.
Agency partner and co-head, Dan Biddle, said; “Wheelhouse Agency is proud to partner with Australia’s most prestigious and successful country music talent contest to help discover and nurture the careers of the next crop of country music stars. We look forward to working with Barry, Cheryl and the team from Tamworth Regional Council to enhance the incredible experience that the winner receives throughout their Star Maker year, and beyond.”
Corral Boots is proud to join the list of generous supporters of the 2024 Toyota Star Maker competition by gifting the winner with a pair of the world’s finest western boots. Corral Boots are works of art, meticulously handcrafted in Leon Mexico, using premium materials. Now available nationwide, Corral Australia is committed to supporting young Australians on their country music journey.
The grand final concert will feature a gala performance by the 2023 winner, Loren Ryanwhose Star Maker reign has seen her perform far and wide including the Deni Ute Muster, Gympie Muster, Savannah In The Round and soon to set sail on Cruisin’ Country.
Loren said of her time as the winner, “I’ve had the absolute best time performing at festivals and events as this year’s Toyota Star Maker. It feels like I’ve finally been able to break through to the next level and I’m looking forward to keeping that momentum up. It’s exciting that we will have a new Star Maker soon and I wish all the Top 10 the best for the finals night.”
Sponsor Chris Watson Travel flew Loren to Nashville’s CMA Fest where she performed on the CMA Spotlight Stage and the Sounds Australia stage, as well as experiencing a number of songwriting sessions.
Loren’s Star Maker EP will be launched at her first ticketed show on Thursday, January 24 at 4:30pm in Moonshiners Honky Tonk Bar. The EP will feature Suddenly, Take Me Home, and Bounce Back, which was previously released and recorded prior to her Star Maker year.
Toyota Australia Chief Marketing Officer, Vin Naidoo, said Toyota is proud to support the talented musicians vying for the chance to create a name for themselves in the country music scene through the Toyota Star Maker Competition.
“We are excited to watch the Star Maker top ten finalists perform on stage in January, which is already an exciting opportunity in their career.”
“It is always a pleasure experiencing the vast array of talent during the competition and supporting the winner with a prize pack, to help fast-track them to becoming the next big country music star in Australia.”
“Congratulations to all the musicians who have been selected as finalists and I look forward to seeing your performances at the grand final concert.”
The Toyota Star Maker Grand Final is one of the biggest events of the annual Toyota Country Music Festival. It all begins at 7pm on Sunday, January 21, 2024 at the city’s largest outdoor venue – Toyota Park.
For further information on Toyota Star Maker visit starmaker.com.au
Artists Keep On Coming To Tamworth ’24
The producers of the 2024 Toyota Country Music Festival in Tamworth have announced the second lineup of ticketed acts for the 52nd event, signaling the start of the countdown to the biggest live country music festival in the country.
Other acts taking the stage in the country music capital of Australia in January are the multi-time Golden Guitar winners and ARIA nominees The Wolfe Brothers, who play the Longyard on January 26 and the legendary Daryl Braithwaite, who play Blazes Showroom on January 27. On January 25 Toyota Star Maker Max Jackson will be present at Moonshiner’s Honky Tonk Bar. The Screaming Jets and Australian rocker Ian Moss will both play at the Longyard Hotel on January 23 and 25, respectively. On January 20, Tamworth native Lane Pittman—who just went on tour with Luke Combs—will have his one and only headline performance at the Tamworth Hotel.
The must see shows continue when on January 19, multi-award winner Kate Ceberano will play at the Longyard, and on January 25, Melbourne’s alt-rock group KINGSWOOD will play at the Tamworth Hotel. On January 22, Luke O’Shea and Kevin Bennett, the Golden Guitar winners, will perform together at the DAG Sheep Station. Alan Fletcher will also be a part of the TC Cassidy, Andy Penkow, and Donella Water performance at the Capitol Theatre.
Barry Harley, the manager of the 52nd Toyota Country Music Festival, believes there will be something for every musical taste at this amazing celebration.
“There is something for everyone to enjoy at the Toyota Country Music Festival, which features thousands of shows over the course of 10 days and hundreds of artists from a variety of genres,”
“We can’t wait to see fans and guests in Tamworth in January and are thrilled to add more incredible artists to the 2024 lineup.”
Beccy Cole has been added to the roster for Orchestral Country, a star-studded special event that will take place at TRECC on Wednesday, January 24. This event, which will be a highlight of the 2024 Toyota Tamworth Country Music Festival, will bring together some of Australia’s top country musicians with a 30-piece orchestra. Along with two more special guests who have not yet been revealed, other artists participating in this once-in-a-lifetime event include Adam Harvey, Fanny Lumsden, Brooke McClymont & Adam Eckersley, Felicity Urquhart & Josh Cunningham, and Amber Lawrence!
Col Elliott, Katrina Burgoyne, Gavin Chatelier, Bryce Sainty, Darren Carr, Col Thomson, Tom Maxwell, Graham Rodger, Ash Grunwald, 8 Ball Aitken, Michael Carpenter and the Banks Brothers, Vixens of Fall, Tom Curtain, Kelly Brouhaha, Hayley Jensen, and Kevin Bennett and The Flood are among the other shows that have tickets available in 2024. The Louisiana Hayride Show, Homecoming with Lily Grace, The Songs and Stories of George Jones with Liam Kennedy-Clark, Women of Country with Lozz Benson, Balladeers on Darling including Anne Fraser, Jason Carruthers, Shelly Jones Band and Peter Smokie Dawson, the 2024 Tamworth Songwriters Association Awards, The Johnny Cash Tribute Show with West Texas Crude, Gunbarrel Highwaymen Final Tour with Reg Poole, Owen Blundell & Terry Gordon, the Luke Combs Tribute Show with Ross Webb & the Rusted Track, Travellin’ Still: The Songs of Slim Dusty with the Slim’s Touring Band & Pete Denahy, Keith Urban, Shania Twain and Bryan Adams Tribute Show with Craig Woodward and Ally Friendship, the 2024 Senior Academy Live, Manilla Community Choir and the ever popular Bush Poets Breakfast.
This comes after an already stellar lineup that features some of the most talented performers in the nation, such as the most successful Golden Guitar winner of all time and Australasian Roll of Renown and ARIA Hall of Fame inductee Kasey Chambers. Troy Cassar-Daley, an ARIA nominee and nine-time Golden Guitar winner Top 2023 Golden Guitar winners Adam Harvey Lee Kernaghan, multiple award winner, country music legend Brooke McClymont and Adam Eckersley 2023 Toyota Album of the Year and ARIA Award winner Beccy Cole Eight-time Golden Guitar and ARIA award winner Casey Barnes 2023’s Female Artist of the Year is Fanny Lumsden. John Williamson, the renowned country music artist, Graeme Connors, who will commemorate 50 years in the business in 2024, Andrew Swift, the 2023 Golden Guitar winner, and Amber Lawrence 2023 Toyota Star Maker winner Ashleigh Dallas Favourite acts include Loren Ryan, Felicity Urquhart and Josh Cunningham, multi-award winner Shane Nicholson, and Melinda Schneider, the queen of country music. In addition, the highly anticipated Toyota Golden Guitar Awards, known as the “night of nights” in country music, will take place on Saturday, January 27, at the Tamworth Entertainment and Conference Centre (TRECC). ARIA nominee and multiple Golden Guitar Award winner Tania Kernaghan, together with 2014 Golden Guitar Award nominee Jason Owen, will host the 2024 awards.
Meanwhile, registration for the 2024 Toyota Country Music Busking Championships is already open for aspiring musicians hoping to secure a seat on the Boulevard of Dreams, located along the notorious Peel Street.
The organisers of the Toyota Country Music Festival are urging buskers of all ages to sign up for the wildly popular competition.
According to Mr. Harley, “one of the most iconic aspects of the Tamworth Country Music Festival is the Toyota Busking Championships, where some of the biggest names in the country music industry, including Keith Urban and Troy Cassar-Daley, got their start.”
“There will be plenty of prizes up for grabs at the 2024 Best of the Buskers concert on Sunday, January 28, in Toyota Park, where the top ten buskers from throughout the 10-day period, as chosen by the judges, will be invited to perform.”
The opening concert of the 52nd Toyota Tamworth Country Music Festival, which will take place in Toyota Park, the festival’s largest venue, on January 19, 2024, will feature a number of 2023 winners, including Andrew Swift, Lyn Bowtell, Luke O’Shea, Lane Pittman, Amber Lawrence, and many more. The event will culminate with a breathtaking fireworks display. Every night of the Festival, Toyota Park will be the site of free events, such as the perennially popular Toyota Star Maker Grand Final, Americana in the Park, Back to the Bush, Australia Day Celebrations, and Toyota’s Best of the Buskers.
Vin Naidoo, Chief Marketing Officer of Toyota Australia, stated that Toyota is honoured to be supporting such a remarkable group of Australian artists.
We still urge aspiring musicians to sign up for the Toyota Busking Championships. The talent on show never ceases to amaze, and many of the players on the current lineup got their start in the tournament.
“We’re excited to see how each performer demonstrates their skills for the thousands of attendees of the Toyota Country Music Festival in January.” stated Mr. Naidoo.
Tickets are now on sale for all shows and events, including the prestigious Toyota Golden Guitar Awards.
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