Tamworth Country Music Festival 2021: Venues book artists for half-speed festival behind doors | The Northern Daily Leader

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news, latest-news, Tamworth Country Music Festival 2021, Tamworth Regional Council

TAKE a walk down Peel Street this summer and silence will replace the usual staccato of buskers that accompanies each step. But behind closed doors, Tamworth Country Music Festival 2021 is back. Kind of. In the new normal, venues have quickly booked up with country music artists desperate for a live show; and caravan parks with even more desperate listeners. It’s not an official festival, but TCMF at half-speed is expected to bring welcome tourism dollars and a morale boost, Tamworth Regional Council acting director of growth and prosperity Anna Russell said. “We’re really excited that public health restrictions have eased enough that our local venues can adapt and put on some shows,” she said. “Festivals are still restricted which means we can’t hold a festival, but it doesn’t stop private venues putting on a show that’s operated in a COVIDSafe way. “Council is really the custodian of a community-based festival, we don’t own the festival; we add to the atmosphere but the real heart of it is our local venues.” Rules eased last Monday as low rates of community transmission freed the public from harsh restrictions. Venues no longer have a cap on numbers as long as the one-person per two-square metres is followed, but outdoor events still need to be fenced, ticketed and seated. As a result, Peel Street will remain open for the first January in a long time, there will be no free concerts in the park or events in public spaces. The Golden Guitar Awards will go ahead in a part-live, part-virtual format on January 23. While Ms Russell doesn’t expect the same amount of fans, she welcomes tourists to town. “We welcome everyone with open arms, we’re excited that tourism is opening up and we would love to have people include us in their travels,” she said. Read also: “We encourage people to stick to the rules and keep everyone in Australia safe by doing the right thing when they visit.” It’s incredible news for artists who have had to cancel tours and album launches, Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA) president Dan Biddle said. “It’s been the worst year ever, we’re thrilled to even be able to play a few shows in January,” he said. “I’ve always said that in order to ‘make it’ in country music you have to make it on the streets of the TCMF first.”

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