Tamworth is a city in the New England region of New South Wales, Australia. Straddling the Peel River, Tamworth, which contains an urban population of 42,501 people, is the major regional centre for southern New England and in the local government area of Tamworth Regional Council. The city provides services for an area population of 55,063. The city is located midway between Brisbane and Sydney, the two largest cities on the Australian east coast. The city is recognised as the “National Equine Capital of Australia” because of the high volume of equine events held in the city and the construction of the world class Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre, the biggest of its kind in the southern hemisphere. The city additionally is known as the “First City of Lights”, being the first place in the Australia to utilise electric street lights.
Tamworth is best known for hosting the Country Music Festival. The Festival is held over a period of 10 days during January, and is the second biggest country music festival in the world. The festival has many times been counted among the world’s top ten music festivals. In 2007 Forbes rated it as number 8 of the World’s Coolest Music Festivals. The festival features thousands of Australian and international country music artists performing live shows 24 hours a day. Each year an estimated 100,000 people pass through Tamworth for the festival with around 70,000 staying for a substantial duration of the festival, with camping along the banks of the Peel River.
The 10 day festival culminates in the Golden Guitar Awards – the most prestigious award that an Australian Country Music artist can win for their music. In honour of its country music Tamworth is home to the ‘Big Golden Guitar’, the wax museum and the hands of fame park of successful country music artists. Homegrown country music stars include Felicity Urquhart and up and coming promising talent Chasing Bailey whose music style is a mixture of country, rock and other genres.
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