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Load Up! The Cavalcade Is Back At Tamworth ’24



Fans will have an opportunity to rub shoulders with their favourite country music stars in Tamworth next January, with an iconic event set to return to the 52nd Toyota Country Music Festival, Tamworth in a new look format.

The 2024 Tamworth Country Music Parade will see the ever-popular cavalcade event reimagined, celebrating Australian country music and providing an opportunity for festival attendees to see their favourite stars up close and in person, through the excitement of a traditional street parade.

Toyota Country Music Festival, Tamworth Manager, Barry Harley says the parade is a fantastic opportunity for the Tamworth community, local businesses, and charitable organisations to get involved.

“The Tamworth Country Music Parade will be a colourful and exciting event that brings together artists, fans and community for one big celebration in the main Festival precinct,”

“As well as some of the nation’s biggest country music stars, the parade will also feature roaming street performers, local dance schools, community groups and marching bands along with a range of unique & historic cars.”

On Saturday, January 27, 2024, Tamworth Country Music Parade will take place. Participating artists and community groups will march north along Peel Street, then turn left onto Fitzroy Street, then left onto Kable Avenue, ending at the intersection of Kable Avenue and Hill Street. It will be encouraged for participants to walk the 1.2km course, according to Michaela Stevens, Coordinator of Events and Operations for Tamworth Regional Council.

“We encourage all artists and entrants to walk the route so they can interact with the crowds and fans, because we want spectators to feel like they’re part of the parade,” the spokesperson stated.

Only smaller cars, such as sedans, utes, and SUVs, will be allowed to participate in the parade. There will be rigorous regulations regarding the use of certain vehicles.

There will also be a theme for the 2024 Tamworth Country Music Parade – Australian + Country + Music, with cash prizes available for the best entries. 

“This theme not only celebrates Australian country music, but also Australia as a nation, and what it means to be an Aussie,” said Ms Stevens.

“We’re encouraging all entrants in the parade to create their own interpretation of this theme and include colourful costumes, banners, flag and props in their entry to make it exciting and visually appealing.

“All entries must have at least one country music artist walking or travelling as part of their entry, a live music performance or pre-recorded music playing.”

The 2024 Tamworth Country Music Parade is free to enter and is open to all community groups, schools, local businesses, dance schools, sporting or special interest groups.

A static car display will also be held at the conclusion of the parade.

“This will give local motor clubs an opportunity to show off the unique vehicles used during the parade to festival crowds,” said Ms Stevens.

“The display will be held in the White St car park and we’re encouraging all local motor groups to get involved.”

To complete an entry form or for more information about the event and cash prizes, please head to the TCMF website.

Entries close Thursday, 7 December.


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. 

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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

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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.

Stay up to date on the 52nd Toyota Tamworth Country Music Festival at Facebook and TCMF Instagram.  

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