Tamworth swells with tens of thousands of music lovers
PEEL Street is packed today in the busiest day yet of the Tamworth Country Music Festival so far.
Thousands of music lovers have poured into the regional centre over the past week for the 41st annual event, which boasts 800 artists performing at venues across the city.
The 10-day festival culminates in tomorrow night's Country Music Association of Australia Awards, better known as the Golden Guitars.
Speaking to media today, Catherine Britt said she was nervous about tomorrow's awards, which will be streamed live around the world and include 13 live performances.
The young singer is up for seven Golden Guitars, tying with Troy Cassar-Daley for the most nominations.
"It's a real pat on the back from my peers in the industry," she said.
"It's scary and exciting."
The awards will also feature tributes in honour of late singers Jimmy Little and Geoff Mack.
Despite the forecast high of 34C today, the Tamworth city centre was packed with punters enjoying the free music on offer including dozens of buskers dotted along Peel Street.
The 2014 festival theme - Home of Country Music - was also unveiled outside Tamworth Council Chambers today.
In just a few hours, country music stars including Lee Kernaghan, The McClymonts and Australia's Got Talent finalists The Wolfe Brothers will perform at the Toyota Concert for Rural Australia.
The free event will also include the Toyota Star Maker Grand Final.
Four finalists, including Robina's Sarah Head, are in the running for the annual talent search prize, which has previously launched the careers of Travis Collins, Liam Brew, Luke Austen and Luke Dickens.
Head earned her spot in the grand final thanks to the SMS votes of fans during the festival - a first in Toyota Star Maker's 34-year history.
In another first, tonight's grand final will be streamed online for fans across the world at the Tamworth Country Music website.
The Toyota Concert for Rural Australia starts at 6.30pm AEDT at Toyota Park.