Sat. Dec 2nd, 2023

The highly anticipated Hats Off to Country festival exceeded all expectations as it played host to a number of sold-out crowds of country music fans in Tamworth last weekend.

Hats Off to Country began as a concert in June 2000 to salute Australia’s king of country music Slim Dusty and has since become a four day mid-year celebration of all things country music in Tamworth, NSW – the country music capital of Australia. This year’s festival saw a great line-up of artists spread across 23 venues, with a variety of free and ticketed entertainment with a majority reporting sold out shows or packed out rooms.

“Beccy Cole and Adam Harvey was a huge success with 630 fans packing out the iconic Tamworth Town Hall for a night of music and laughter” said Peter Ross, Manager of Entertainment Venues.

Another highlight of the festival was the sell-out Cowboy Crawl which saw participants ‘crawl’ their way from venue to venue to soak up a diverse range of country music. Participants came from far and wide from all corners of Australia including Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and even some international visitors from Dublin, Ireland.

Cowboy Crawlers weren’t the only ones having fun across the four days with a range of venues holding extremely successful events.          

A star-studded line-up of Golden Guitar Award winners, Andrew Swift, Ashleigh Dallas, and Kristy Cox, further contributed to the event’s triumph with their show ‘A Golden Round’ which drew a crowd of over 100 at the Moonshiners Bar.

“I had so much fun at Hats Off last weekend, so many laughs and great music was shared,” said Andrew Swift. “

Being surrounded by so many talented people in Tamworth always inspires me, it truly is Australia’s country music capital.”

Another multiple Golden Guitar Award winner, Luke O’Shea also experienced a great turnout of over 50 guests for his lunch show at the North Tamworth Bowling Club.

The 2023 CMAA Junior Academy witnessed overwhelming success with a sold-out graduation ceremony. Participants of the Junior Academy spent the week leading up to Hats Off being mentored by some of Australia’s best country music artists, learning the ropes of singing, song writing, instrumentals and performing.

The Community Open Day at the Visitor Information Centre was also extremely popular, attracting over 600 visitors with positive feedback from all who attended. The open day featured local produce stalls, face painting, exclusive Hats Off merch which was a hit and free entry for locals to the National Guitar Museum and Country Music Wax Museum.

Stay tuned for the dates for Hats Off to Country 2024.

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