The 2018 Toyota Country Music Festival, Tamworth has kicked off with over 15,000 people enjoying the free concerts in Toyota Park over the weekend.

Friday night’s Opening Concert was one of the best yet, featuring performances by JUDAH KELLY (The Voice Australia 2017 winner), TRAVIS COLLINS (2017 Golden Guitar Award Winner Male Artist of the Year, Single of the Year and Song of the Year), RACHAEL FAHIM (2017 Toyota Star Maker), ALEYCE SIMMONDS (2017 APRA AMCOS Country Work of the Year Award Winner, 2017 Independent Country Artist of the Year and 2017 Independent Country Female Vocalist of the Year), TROY KEMP, PAUL COSTA, GRETTA ZILLER & ANDREW SWIFT, plus THE 2018 ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC GRADUATES and Canadian Band THE DUNGAREES. 

On Saturday 20 January families loved THE FAMILY SUPPORT CONCERT with Disney favourites ELSA (Frozen), BELLE (Beauty and the Beast), SIMBA (The Lion King), WOODY (Toy Story) and LIGHTENING McQUEEN (Cars) making an appearance alongside AMBER LAWRENCE, HOMEGROWN, FINNIAN JOHNSON, ARNA GEORGIA and surprise guest 2014 Toyota Starmaker winner JARRAD PORTER. 

Sunday saw the biggest crowd by far, with thousands of people converging on Toyota Park for the 2018 Toyota Star Maker Grand Final concert, where Jindabyne country music artist Brad Cox was crowned the winner.

Mr Wayne Gabriel, Chief Marketing Officer, Toyota Australia said: “This weekend, the city of Tamworth came alive as tens of thousands of music lovers enjoyed hundreds of performances and events in what is the largest country music festival in the Southern Hemisphere.

“Toyota is passionate about supporting grassroots musicians, and a great example of this is through the Toyota Star Maker competition, held over the weekend. This is a fantastic opportunity for upcoming artists to further their careers, and we are thrilled for Brad Cox, who has claimed the same prize as Lee Kernaghan, Keith Urban and many other music legends.

As major sponsor of the Toyota Country Music Festival for the past 25 years, we continue to celebrate our longstanding connection with Tamworth and are looking forward to another action-packed Festival which is set to launch many bright stars in 2018.”

Festival Manager Barry Harley reiterated Mr. Gabriel’s comments, saying it was great to see so many people in the city over the weekend enjoying the wide array of entertainment on offer.

“We’re really pleased with the turnout over the weekend, not just at the concerts in the Park but at venues across the city. Early reports indicate that this was one of the best opening weekends experienced in recent years.

It appears people aren’t waiting until the long weekend to come to Tamworth, which is great for the Festival and great for the region,” he added.

Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson attended the Opening Concert and said the Toyota Country Music Festival is one of the top 10 festivals in the world which places the region on the world stage each year.

“The Toyota Country Music Festival not only drives overnight visitation to Tamworth but puts country music front and centre for 10 days while promoting upcoming talent and supporting established artists, so it’s easy to see why this festival is a hallmark event for regional NSW,” Mr Anderson said.

“With a stellar 2018 line-up, I encourage music fans to make the most of the exciting events on offer over the coming week because this year’s festival is one that’s not to be missed,” Mr Anderson said.

The 46th Toyota Country Music Festival, Tamworth will be held from Friday, 19 to Sunday, 28 January 2018 with the 46th Toyota Golden Guitar Awards on Saturday 27 January 2018 at the Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre.

For all Toyota Country Music Festival, tickets and registrations head to www.tcmf.com.au.