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Hundreds of Hopefuls Expected to Battle it out in the Best of the Buskers Championships

29 September 2021

The battle to become Australia’s next big-name busker is now officially underway, with registrations now open for the highly anticipated Toyota Country Music Busking Championships.

An opportunity for budding stars to follow in the footsteps of award-winning artists like Keith Urban and Kasey Chambers, the 50th Country Music Festival is expected to see around 400 buskers lining Tamworth’s Peel Street, all searching for their big break.

Performing on Tamworth’s ‘Boulevard of Dreams’ is a rite of passage for many artists starting out in the industry.

“Every year my mum and dad would pack us kids up in the car, we would head to Tamworth, and camp for two weeks,” says Golden Guitar winner, Kirsty Lee Akers.

“I would perform in talent quests and busk on Peel Street and the money I earned from busking paid for my first ever EP when I was 16.”

Performing throughout the 10-day Toyota Country Music Festival, buskers will have a chance to impress, with judges roaming the streets to select the top ten performers.

Toyota Australia Chief Marketing Officer John Pappas said the busking championships is always a highlight of the Toyota Country Music Festival and the music on the streets is what really brings the community together.

“Over the years we have seen some extraordinarily talented musicians and performers head for Tamworth for the busking championships and for many of today’s stars, it’s where they got their very first break,” Mr Pappas said.

“It’s always a tough decision for the judges, but the championships really showcase that celebration of community spirit and support for regional and rural Australia that is at the heart of the whole festival,” he said.

The ten top performing buskers will have the opportunity to perform in front of a crowd of hundreds at the Toyota Best of the Buskers concert on the final Sunday of the Festival.

There’s also a chance to win a share in over $5,000 worth of prizes. 

Festival organisers have also appointed a busking co-ordinator, who will begin working next month.

Up and coming artists looking for their big break can register for busking online by clicking here.

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.