The upcoming Tamworth Country Music Festival has been officially cancelled.
At a council meeting last night (September 8), Tamworth region councillors voted to cancel the festival’s 49th edition due to coronavirus-imposed restrictions on travel and mass gatherings.
TCMF was originally scheduled to take place from January 14-21 next year. The festival will instead return in 2022 to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
In a statement on TCMF’s social media, councillors “could not in good conscience vote to proceed with the event”.
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Tamworth Region Councillors tonight voted to suspend all Tamworth Regional Council run events for the 2021 Toyota Country Music Festival, Tamworth. With the current public health orders in place, which include the prohibition of music festivals and mass gatherings, coupled with travel restrictions and venue capacity challenges, Councillors could not in good conscience vote to proceed with the event. Link for more information in our bio
Festival manager Barry Harley said it was a “sad day” for the Tamworth region, artists and the country music industry.
“We have remained as optimistic as we could and continued with our planning in the hope that conditions would ease,” Harley said.
“Unfortunately, like so many others in our situation, we have had to surrender to the challenges COVID has placed on us and make the difficult decision to suspend TCMF2021.”
Tamworth region Mayor Col Murray shared similar sentiments, acknowledging that the region councillors had to “face a difficult decision” with health and safety considerations at the forefront of their final verdict.
“It is hard to believe that we have had to make this decision, and it most certainly has not been an easy decision to make,” Murray said.
“Still, the impacts of introducing COVID-19 to our community far outweigh the impacts cancelling the Festival would have on our community.”
However, the annual presentation of the Toyota Golden Guitar Awards will still go ahead online. The ABC will livestream the presentation ceremony on the night – originally slated for January 23.
“It is important that we continue to recognise country music talent at the 49th Toyota Golden Guitar Awards, despite not being able to hold a live event,” Harley said.
“Artists have faced an extremely challenging year, but many have continued to work hard and release new music, under the most difficult of circumstances, and we want to pay tribute to them by hosting a remarkable event, that is streamed far and wide so that everyone can experience the best of Australian country music.”
TCMF 2021 originally faced the axe at the beginning of September, which was flagged by Harley on social media.