Organisers are currently weighing up whether to go ahead with next year’s Tamworth Country Music festival while uncertainty over restrictions remain for the foreseeable future.
The festival attracts an estimated 40,000 visitors to town each year, but organisers say it will be incredibly difficult to cover event costs and meet social distancing guidelines.
Tamworth Regional Council have recommended all council-managed events for the 49th festival set for January 2021 be suspended.
“I bring myself back to reality by saying, ‘they cancelled the Olympics’,” festival organiser Barry Harley told the ABC.
“And if they can cancel the Olympics, we can suspend the council for one year and come back stronger.
“Normally a month ago we would have started several hundred thousand dollars worth of marketing, tickets would have gone on sale.
“We’ve held that off for a little while but the decision has to be made now despite the fact there’s four and half months to go.”
The 2021 Golden Guitar Awards will go ahead, but using an online format, with the organisers considering focusing their efforts on to the 50th anniversary event in 2022.
“The 50th anniversary’s an opportunity not only to reinstate the festival as we’ve known it, but to actually provide an even bigger celebration,” Harley said.
The final decision on the 2021 festival will be made at the next Tamworth Regional Council meeting on September 8.