Kate Ceberano Responds To Critics About Her Performing At Tamworth Country Music Festival

17 January 2024 | 9:00 am | Mary Varvaris

"My whole musical heritage is country."

Kate Ceberano

Kate Ceberano (Source: Supplied)

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Kate Ceberano has taken to social media and responded to criticism about her appearance at Tamworth Country Music Festival this Friday, telling a commenter who blasted the likes of Ceberano and The Screaming Jets on this year’s line-up that her “whole musical heritage is country”.

Upon sharing an image of a Tamworth Country Music Festival line-up announcement and detailing her excitement, Ceberano received this comment last week, “WTF. This is a country music festival. Ceberano & Screaming Jets!!! Pleeasse! I won't be going if that’s the standard.”

Ceberano responded yesterday by telling the commenter that they mightn’t know about her heritage, which is half Hawaiian, and that her musical heritage is country. “I think there is a bit of country in most music except pop, of course,” she continued, and she corrected that statement too, noting in another comment that country music is in pop as Taylor Swift is one of the best-selling artists in the world.

The Bedroom Eyes singer went on to mention the country icons she looks up to – “I’ve been singing Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson and more since I could speak” and performed with – “I’ve even performed with Kris Kristofferson and even Harry Dean Stanton”.

She concluded, “I played with Hawaiian ukulele greats that are considered ‘country’ where I come from. But I don’t need to defend myself. 😂 I look forward to finally performing at a festival I’ve wanted to play since I first started my career. I’m stoked even if you’re not”.

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In a separate Instagram post, Ceberano shared the criticism and her response and wrote about the “great honour” of performing at Tamworth Country Music Festival in the caption. “With no disrespect to this person who laid their opinion at my Insta feet [sic]! But let me just say…. I’m thrilled to be part of a festival I have longed to be invited to for all my musical life,” she began.

“Being half Hawaiian, I feel it’s in my DNA to sing country, and certainly I have learnt from the greats, Linda Ronstadt, Patsy Cline, Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton… I’ve even performed with Kris Kristofferson and alongside Willie Nelson and Harry Dean Stanton. This is a great honour and I take it very seriously!!!!! Don’t get me started. Happy if you don’t plan to come to my concert :) I’ll be in country clover :)”.

Kate Ceberano and The Screaming Jets aren’t the only non-country artists performing at Tamworth in the coming weeks, with Kingswood, Ian Moss and Daryl Braithwaite also on the line-up.

However, Tamworth remains a country music festival, hosting the likes of The Wolfe Brothers, Kasey Chambers, Beccy Cole, Max Jackson, Troy Cassar-Daley, Lee Kernaghan, Casey Barnes, Fanny Lumsden, Loren Ryan and stacks more.

The variety is also the point, with Toyota Country Music Festival Manager Barry Harley commenting that this year’s festival “certainly has something for everyone to enjoy”, whether it’s traditional forms of country music, a blend of pop and folk, rock, blues, or anything else that resonates with the Tamworth community.

The 2024 Tamworth Country Music Festival spans from 19-28 January 2024. You can find more information about the festival here.