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Busking at Tamworth Country Music Festival 2023

06 July 2023

By Charlie Little, Age 9 years, Mount Gambier SA

In January, my family and I went on a road trip from Mount Gambier, South Australia to the 51st Tamworth Country Music Festival in NSW.  My sister and I had entered the busking competition for the festival.

On the trip we stayed at Ararat, Narrandera and Dubbo and even went to The Dish at Parkes. After nearly four days of travelling, we finally arrived in Tamworth and checked into our accommodation at the Golden Guitar Motor Inn. When in Tamworth, you shouldn’t leave without a photo in front of the giant Golden Guitar.  After we took these photos to mark the start of our busking adventure, we went into town and checked out the opening day of the festival.  This was Friday the 13th – one of the spookiest days of the year.

We had a look around Peel St and went to the Festival HQ to find complete our registration for busking and find out our busking location.  We went down Peel St to our location which was out the front of the Kebab Station.  We introduced ourselves to the owners of the store and listened to some of the other buskers.  One of the buskers, Scott who was also singing in the same location as us, and was also from South Australia.  We got to know him really well, he even signed our guitars.  Scott ended up coming third in the Busking competition.

The next day we arrived with all our gear to start our busking journey.  Our songs ranged from Kasey Chambers through to Ed Sheeran.  We busked in this first location for 4 days and also did a final day down the other end of Peel St.  Over the five days I made $242.70 busking.

On my second day of busking, I was filmed by the Channel 9 news.  My footage was on the regional news on the local station in Tamworth.  With this footage I was playing my guitar and singing an Ed Sheeran song.  Another day both Kiahna and I got filmed by Channel 7 and my parents got interviewed by them as well. 

Throughout the week we went to some concerts featuring artists such as Kasey Chambers, Andrew Swift, Catherine Britt, and Travis Collins.  We also went to a Bush Poets Breakfast, some of the poems were very funny.

My sister, Kiahna also entered in the Golden Gig Talent Quest for Under 12’s.  She sang two songs with a full band for the judges.  One of the judges was 10-time Golden Guitar Winner Lyn Bowtell.

The Family Zone was great fun, with a ferris wheel and dodgem cars.

Our trip to the Tamworth Country Music Festival and busking on the famous Peel St of Tamworth was amazing.  If you like live music, you should really go the next Tamworth Country Music Festival in January 2024. See you there…


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.