Save the date: 19 – 28 JANUARY 2024
Back to News

Tamworth’s Lane Pittman crowned 2023 Toyota Best of the Buskers champion!

22 January 2023

Lane Pittman has been crowned the 2023 Toyota Best of the Buskers champion following tonight’s grand final at the 51st Toyota Country Music Festival in Tamworth, NSW.

The Festival’s top ten busking musicians, as voted by festival goers and judges, performed to an enthusiastic crowd in Toyota Park on the final night of the 51st Toyota Country Music Festival, with Lane’s impressive performance winning over the judges.

Toyota Country Music Festival, Tamworth Manager Barry Harley, said: “Congratulations to Lane on being crowned this year’s busking champion. Lane put on a stellar performance tonight, and is a very deserving winner of the busking champion title. “With hundreds of buskers at this year’s event it was certainly a difficult choice for the judges!”

As the 2023 busking champion Lane takes home a $2000 cash prize, as well as two paid gigs at the Courthouse Hotel during the 2024 Tamworth Country Music Festival, plus the opportunity to perform at next year’s Opening Concert.

Ziggy McNeill from Freshwater, NSW took out second place and Scott Rathman Jnr from Pooraka, SA placed third, with both receiving cash prizes and paid gigs in 2024, while Maddie Warden from Walgett, NSW was crowned People’s Choice winner, taking home a brand-new Yamaha electric acoustic CPX600 black guitar. The remaining top ten buskers walked away with $200 each.

Each finalist also received a handmade guitar strap worth $200, courtesy of Original Covers. Presenting the award, Tamworth City Toyota Dealer Principal Tim Easey said it was wonderful to see the streets of Tamworth buzzing again with such amazing busking talent. “Over the last two weeks we’ve heard some incredible artists playing their music all throughout Peel Street and I’d like to congratulate Lane on their win tonight against some immensely talented performers,” Mr Easey said.

“The Toyota Country Music Busking Championships showcases the community heart of this festival by supporting grassroots Australian country music artists and provides them with a platform to showcase their talents, and by the performances we have seen, the future of Australian country music is looking bright,” he said.

With some of Australia’s country music icons getting their start in busking, like Troy Cassar-Daley and Keith Urban, the Busking Championships are a great launch pad for aspiring musicians.

“These championships are one of the most iconic parts of the Festival, and they do a fantastic job in showcasing the variety of musical styles and talent from the Festival’s main precinct,” said Mr Harley. “It is a perfect launch-pad for aspiring musicians as it helps them to get their music out there to a large audience.”


Tamworth Regional Council acknowledges the Gamilaroi/Kamilaroi people, who are the Traditional Custodians of this land. We would like to pay respect to Elders past and present, and extend that respect to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living in and visiting our region.