Hats Off To Country is back and celebrating 20 years!

Antony Hands - HOTC_2018_014 280x280.jpgWith Golden Guitar Winners Felicity Urquhart and Brad Butcher headlining the mid-year festival

Tamworth, Australia’s country music capital, will see the highly anticipated winter festival, Toyota Hats Off To Country return to its venues from Thursday 11 to Sunday 14 July 2019 for the celebration of it’s 20th year. 

This year’s “Hats Off”, sponsored by Tamworth City Toyota has revealed a lineup that includes some of the best singers and songwriters in the country music business and locals and visitors are being urged to plan their schedules and book their tickets ahead of time to avoid missing out. 

Cheryl Brown, country music coordinator at Tamworth Regional Council said the festival is an intimate event for lovers of singer songwriters but also a long weekend for those wanting to party with friends whilst enjoying a variety of great music.

“The Hats Off To Country Festival has entertained visitors and Tamworth locals for 20 years now and it is such a fantastic time to get together to enjoy some live music in the cooler weather. 

“Tamworth is renowned for bringing together artists and avid music-lovers for the annual Toyota Country Music Festival, held each January. “Hats Off” is another wonderful opportunity that the locals take to welcome back established and emerging artists as well as visitors for a mid-year celebration.  

“It’s also a great opportunity to support our local entertainment venues who provide fantastic entertainment and service. They really come together each year to make this festival such a success.”

With over 100 performers, at dozens of ticketed and free events across the region, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Tamworth during this time of year. 

Host of ABC’s ‘Saturday Night Country’ and Tamworth homegrown star Felicity Urquhart, together with Queensland songwriter Brad Butcher, will bring their hit songs to The Pub (99 Gunnedah Road) on Saturday, July 13 from 7pm.*

Two-times Golden Guitar finalist Brad Cox, the 2018 Toyota Star Maker will take you higher at Moonshiners Honky Tonk Bar, inside the Family Hotel from 9:30pm. * 

The popular Cowboy Crawl will be held on Saturday, July 13 and festival-goers can jump on board the bus and be taken to local venues being guaranteed a safe arrival and good time. * 

“Hats Off” will also be a launching pad for local golden girl Ashleigh Dallas and Port Macquarie’s 2019 Toyota Star Maker Blake O’Connor, both debuting their brand-new albums along with country legend Allan Caswell launching his brand-new book My Version Of The Truth.

Don’t miss Moscato Dayz Band on Friday night, Ashleigh’s launch on Saturday night, and 2019 two-time Golden Guitar winner Andrew Swift on Sunday from 2pm, all in the Legends Lounge at West Tamworth League Club. 

Dan Murphy will have you kicking up your boots at Scores Sports Bar at Wests Diggers on Saturday night and again on Sunday afternoon.

The Services Group is a crowd-pleaser, with relative newcomer Aaron Jurd and The Banned, performing over two nights, while at North Tamworth Bowling Club, Golden Guitar winner Luke O’Shea’s intimate dinner show is a definite highpoint. Michael Bryers as well as Col Finley & Will Day will also perform at both these venues over the weekend, plus at the Manilla RSL Club.

South Tamworth Bowling Club, affectionately known as “Classic Country Central” will feature Alby Pool, Anthony Taylor, and local artist Jared Scott.

Tamworth’s pub scene will also be well represented during the “Hats Off to Country Festival” at the Pub Group’s venues, with highlights including the Viper Creek Band on both Friday and Saturday nights at The Longyard. Howdy's Hoedown will go down at The Pub on Friday night, and both Blake O’Connor and Brad Cox will take to the stage on Saturday night, respectively at Moonshiners Honky Tonk Bar at the Family Hotel. 

With a theme of singer-songwriters, The DAG Sheep station is a must-add to schedules. John and Belinda Krsulja will host the Songwriter’s Retreat followed by the Songwriters’ Live On The Deck featuring artists from the retreat. There will also be a number of showcases featuring Luke O’Shea, Felicity Urquhart, Kevin Bennett, Shane Nicholson, Jen Mize and Jeremy Edwards, Johnny K, Richo Richardson, Brendan Nawrocki, Jeff Gibson and others throughout the festival. 

The CMAA Junior Academy, comprised of 27 students from all over Australia, will perform the Academy Live! Graduation concert on Friday, 12 July in Moonshiners at the Family Hotel. The performance will showcase the talents and learnings of up and coming artists, who have been led by some of the industry’s best, including Academy Director Lyn Bowtell, Academy General Manager Roger Corbett (Bushwackers) as well as Simon Johnson, Fanny Lumsden, Mickey Pye and David Carter.

But the entertainment doesn’t stop there! To view the full program, purchase tickets and find out more information about the “Hats Off to Country Festival”, visit hatsofftocountry.com. 

“We really hope and wish to encourage both locals and visitors to wander between venues and enjoy all that Hats Off To Country brings to the Tamworth region,” added Cheryl Brown.  

* Tickets are on sale now.

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