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NSW Gov Patronises Audience & Insults Songwriters In Tamworth Social Media Fail

18 January 2023 | 10:21 am | Mary Varvaris

Artists and fans fire back at an "out of touch" meme shared by the NSW government.

(Pic by Jay Seeney/Sourced from TCMF Facebook page)

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The New South Wales Government thought it might be a good idea to post a meme that mocks country music on Facebook during the week of the Tamworth Country Music Festival, but they were wrong.

In a meme entitled "Country music starter park," there's a photo of Keith Urban captioned "we met in a small town...", a picture of jeans, a truck, the Big Golden Guitar, and Kevin Costner in Yellowstone, followed by "chorus after four lines," and a final image of a guitar and a cowboy hat captioned "hey darlin'". 

While many in the comments stated their desire to attend Tamworth Music Festival, some found the meme offensive and let the people running the NSW Government Facebook page know about it.

Gold Coast country music outfit Hinterland commented, "You could have used a photo of a performing artist. You could have shared a music video. Hell, even a stock photo of a cowboy hat. Literally anything that shows country music and/or the festival in even just a mildly positive light."

They added, "But instead you decided to share a meme that makes fun of country music, the overall theme of the festival, in order to encourage people to go to said festival? I want to make a “tone deaf” comment here but I’m worried you’ll turn it back and make another genius marketing strategy about music. Just really poor form NSW Government."

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A country music fan added, "Your choice of graphic for this post is very telling, it shows a thorough ignorance of Country Music, which comes in many many styles and flavours. Is it just a coincidence that VIC and QLD leave NSW for dead when it comes to support for live music? Yeah, nah. Do better NSW Government."

"This advertising is insulting. Almost mocking the country music industry," another fan wrote. "This event is so good for our town, region and state.Shame on NSW Government for mocking us… We appreciate your funding and support but good taste please".

The Tamworth Country Music Festival will celebrate 51 years in 2023 and mark a return to its traditional 10-day timeslot in January. It is recognised as the largest and longest country music festival in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere. 

It is a cornerstone summer celebration that sees hundreds of thousands of people converge on Tamworth in North West NSW.  The 51st Tamworth Country Music Festival will be held from Friday, 13 to Sunday, 22 January. Find more festival information here.