Trading Hours Extended And Alcohol Laws Relaxed Ahead Of The 2023 Tamworth Country Music Festival

10 January 2023 | 10:06 am | Staff Writer

The Tamworth Country Music Festival will be held from January 13-22, 2023

(Image: Supplied)

Pubs and clubs will keep their doors open for longer at the Tamworth Country Music Festival this year to help support the State’s hospitality industry and night-time economy. It will see venues in Tamworth regional LGA open for an additional two hours from 10pm to midnight on Sunday, January 15 and Sunday, January 22.

Other events set to benefit from the changes includes Bathurst 1000, NRL Grand Final, Coonamble Rodeo and Campdraft, Vivid Sydney, Newcastle 500 Supercar Race, World Pride Sydney, Open Men’s Singles Final and Parkes Elvis Festival.

Minister for Hospitality and Racing, Kevin Anderson, said, “These extensions will provide an extra 44 hours of trading across the year and will deliver a huge boost to our state’s hospitality industry, by creating more jobs and boosting business, while giving patrons more opportunities to socialise at venues during and after special events.”

“The 2023 events calendar is taking shape and will be an exciting year, with the NSW Government already approving 20 special extensions, giving people more options to enjoy major sports, arts and cultural events,” he added.

Alcohol laws have also been relaxed ahead of the Tamworth Country Music Festival, with outdoor diners allowed to have a drink with their meals during the event.

Tamworth Mayor, Russell Webb, said the policy was holding back opportunities for people to have a full range of beverage choices when enjoying great food on offer at local restaurants and cafes.

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“The rule served its purpose when the policy started in 1996 as a mechanism to stem anti-social behaviour during the festival, but Councillors agreed tonight it was time for it to go. 

"When COVID-19 led to the festival’s postponement this year, it was the first time diners were able to enjoy an alcoholic beverage with their meal during the festival – and there was no up-swing in anti-social behaviour.”

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 and is a cornerstone summer celebration that sees hundreds of thousands of people converge on Tamworth in North West NSW.  

Held over ten days in January, the Festival boasts hundreds of artists and thousands of shows, including the iconic Country Music Awards of Australia, commonly known as the Toyota Golden Guitar Awards, which are the only industry affiliated country music awards in Australia and the biggest celebration of Australian country music talent.  

The 51st Tamworth Country Music Festival will be held from Friday, 13 to Sunday, January 22 and the Toyota 51st Golden Guitar Awards will be held on Saturday, January 21.   

Head to the festival website for more information.