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About Hats Off

Hats Off To Country is Tamworth’s mid-year country music festival!

It was established by the Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA) in June 2000 as an important fundraiser for the organisation. The major concert was called Hats Off To Slim. The following year was a tribute to Lee Kernaghan, and then John Williamson until it was referred to and promoted as Hats Off To Country Tamworth. In later years, other Tamworth groups, including Tourism Tamworth became involved. The CMAA pulled out of the organisation in 2006 and Tourism Tamworth in 2009.

The Tamworth Country Music Stakeholders Group took over the lead role from July 2012 and Tamworth Regional Council became a major media support in 2016. Tamworth Regional Council now work with the Stakeholders group to market and promote the festival. 

The Hats Off festival complements the annual Tamworth Country Music Festival offering cooler temperatures, a hub for singer-songwriters and a haven for good times. In 2017, the addition of the Cowboy Crawl was introduced as a fun and safe way to see up to five artists across five venues in one evening. 

Hats Off features mostly free events with a handful of ticketed shows. Numerous Golden Guitar winners participate as well as individual singer-songwriters and members of the Tamworth Songwriters’ Association, a song writing retreat, the CMAA Junior Academy, the Australian Bush Balladeers’ Association’s Bronze Bust fundraiser, the annual Dare 2 Dance Line Dance Social, the Capital Country Music Association’s tribute concert, and dozens of events and activities throughout Country Music Capital and the surrounding region.

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