Tamworth Country Music 2021 Festival faces likely cancellation after council recommendation

The 49th Golden Guitar Awards will still go ahead under the proposed plans

Tamworth Regional Council will recommend the cancellation of the 2021 Tamworth Country Music Festival at a council meeting next Tuesday (September 8).

The festival’s 49th annual event is currently scheduled to take place from January 14-21, 2021.

The recommendation to cancel was flagged on social media this morning in a video message from Barry Harley, festival manager at the Tamworth Regional Council.


“The medical advice that we’re receiving is that it’s absolutely illegal to run a music festival, and illegal to actually have mass gatherings of greater than 20. Just about every element the council is responsible for in January requires massing large crowds, and this we can’t do,” Harley said.

“The number one consideration is the health and wellbeing of our community, our industry and our fans, and to that end, we are recommending that Tamworth should not proceed with the Country Music Festival in 2021.”

TCMF2021 Update from Barry Harley

⚠️ As promised, here is an update for TCMF2021Council will consider a recommendation at next Tuesday's Council Meeting to suspend all Council run festival events for the 2021 Festival.These include Toyota Park, Cavalcade, Coca-Cola Country, Busking, FanZone and the stalls in Peel Street.We will update you with the outcome next Wednesday after a decision has been made by the Councillors at the meeting.

Posted by Tamworth Country Music Festival on Monday, August 31, 2020

Harley noted that under the proposed plan the staging of the 49th Golden Guitar Awards would still take place, but did not provide details as to how.

“It’s important that we continue that 49 years of unchanged events so that we can celebrate the 50th anniversary correctly in 2022,” he said.

The council’s decision will be published on September 9, following the meeting the night before.


The news follows a string of other music festivals reassessing and cancelling their planned 2021 events in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Last week, Falls Festival announced its planned 2020/21 event would not go ahead, despite committing to an all-Australian lineup.

Port Fairy Folk Festival in Victoria, set for March, was the first music festival to cancel a postponed 2021 event. Organisers cited the second wave of COVID-19 infections in the state and the likelihood of social distancing restrictions running into next year.