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The 2021 Toyota Country Music Festival, Tamworth surrenders to COVID-19

08 September 2020

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.
Festival Manager, Barry Harley said: “Today is a sad day, not only for Tamworth, but for the 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.  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.”
In making the final decision Tamworth Region Mayor, Col Murray said: “Tamworth Region Councillors faced a difficult decision tonight, one that had the health and safety of our community, our fans, the artists, volunteers, local businesses, staff, and the wider country music industry front of mind. 
“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.  Still, the impacts of introducing COVID-19 to our community far outweigh the impacts cancelling the Festival would have on our community.” 
While the Festival itself will not proceed in 2021, the annual presentation of the Country Music Awards of Australia, the Toyota Golden Guitar Awards, will still go ahead.  The Awards that are the longest standing music awards in the country, will be delivered via an online stream on the night, and the ABC will continue to be the broadcast partner for the Awards.
“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,” explained Mr. Harley. 
“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.
The Toyota Country Music Festival, Tamworth, is one of the best Festival experiences on offer.  It is the country’s most prominent supporter of Australian country music, and it will be back to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2022.  
“We appreciate all the support shown to us to date, and we encourage everyone to support your favourite country music artists in any way, in the coming months, as we look forward to a bigger and better Festival in 2022,” said Mr. Harley.  
To keep up to date with plans for the 2021 Toyota Golden Guitar Awards and the 2022 Toyota Country Music 50th Anniversary event, visit

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.