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Australia's Largest Music Festival. 10 days. 700 Artists. 2800+ Events

19-28 January 2018

Friday, 2 December 2016
 
WHO WILL BE AUSTRALIA’S NEXT BIG COUNTRY STAR? 2017 TOYOTA STAR MAKER IS FREE IN TOYOTA PARK FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME!
 
Fairfax Rural Events and Toyota are proud to announce exciting changes to Australia’s most prestigious country music talent search.
 
Ten of Australia’s top emerging talent will vie for the honour of becoming the 38th Toyota Star Maker in a winner takes all, event in Toyota Park, in the leafy heart of Tamworth, Australia’s Country Music Capital.
 
Toyota Star Maker has traditionally been the main event of the first festival weekend, but this concert on Sunday, January 22, makes it an even more significant occasion.
For the very first time in Star Maker history, the event will be FREE, with all 10 finalists being judged on the night, with one winner emerging.
 
The winner will receive a prize package which includes a new Toyota motor vehicle, an unlimited fuel card for 12 months to transport them around the country, plus  guaranteed performances at major festivals and events throughout Australia.
 
Toyota has a long and proud history of supporting country music in Australia, including 22 years of sponsoring the emerging artists of Star Maker and 25 years backing the overall Country Music Festival in Tamworth.
 
Among the exclusive Star Maker alumni are Lee Kernaghan, Keith Urban, Beccy Cole, James Blundell, Darren Coggan, Travis Collins, Gina Jeffreys, Samantha McClymont, Kirsty Lee Akers, Kaylee Bell and many more.
 
The 2017 Toyota Star Maker finalists, chosen from across the country, are:
 
1 Andrew Swift, Berwick Vic
2 Angus Gill, Wauchope NSW
3 Brook Chivell, Labrador Qld
4 Cassidy Rae Gaiter, Flagstaff Hill SA
5 Jade Holland, Balgal Beach Qld
6 Liam Kennedy-Clark, Sippy Downs Qld
7 Meg Doherty, Pakenham Vic
8 Megan Sidwell, Melbourne Vic
9 Michelle Plozza, Kingston Qld
10 Rachael Fahim, Cherrybrook NSW
 
Toyota Star Maker co-ordinator Cheryl Byrnes said she was delighted with the standard of performers applying for Toyota Star Maker 2017.
 
“Toyota Star Maker is a fabulous opportunity and it truly is getting harder to judge each year as entrants raise the bar,” Ms Byrnes said.
 
“It’s a great platform and gives the finalists and the winner a jumpstart in their careers. For the winner, the title also brings exposure to invaluable contacts in the industry and a variety of exciting challenges.”
 
Toyota Australia sales and marketing executive director Tony Cramb was thrilled with the exciting changes to this long-established quest.
 
“It’s a wonderful thing that Star Maker will now be so much more accessible to a worldwide audience, through live-streaming in the park, and an absolutely free event for the public,” Mr Cramb said.
 
“Toyota is very proud of its long association with this prestigious quest and we offer our hearty congratulations to the 2017 finalists.
 
“We wish each and every finalist the very best on the night. It is a pleasure and a privilege to play a role in launching another new career onto the Australian country music scene.
 
“It is yet another way in which Toyota can show its commitment to supporting rural and regional Australia.”
 
EVENT DETAILS
 
Toyota Star Maker will be held in Toyota Park on Sunday, January 22, 2017 from 7pm. For the very first time it will be a FREE event and a winner will be decided on the night from the top 10 finalists. Darren Coggan returns as the esteemed compere and there will also be a performance by outgoing Toyota Star Maker 2016 Karin Page, along with Jared Porter (2014) and Brendon Walmsley (1999).
 
STAR MAKER WINNERS 1979-2016
 
*1979 Grand Junction
*1980 Tommy Miller
*1981 Leanne Douglas
*1982 Lee Kernaghan
*1983 The Vic Lanyon Band
*1985 Great Divide
*1986 Jane Maddick
*1987 James Blundell
*1988 Jenine Vaughan
*1989 Craig Robertson
*1990 Keith Urban
*1991 Gina Jeffreys
*1992 Warren Derwent
*1993 Beccy Cole
*1994 Clint Beattie
*1995 Tanya Self
*1996 Darren Coggan
*1997 Lyn Bowtell
*1998 Kate Ballantyne
*1999 Brendon Walmsley
*2000 Grant Richardson
*2001 Kylie Sackley
*2002 Kieran Lancini
*2003 Todd Williams
*2004 Travis Collins
*2005 Samantha McClymont
*2006 Cat Southern
*2007 Kirsty Akers
*2008 Talia Wittmann
*2009 Liam Brew
*2010 Luke Austen
*2011 Luke Dickens
*2012 Bob Corbett
*2013 Kaylee Bell
*2014 Jared Porter
*2015 Mickey Pye
*2016 Karin Page
 
ABOUT STAR MAKER
 
Star Maker is an annual search for an individual who is ready to take the next big step in their country music career. The winner should have the greatest potential to take advantage of the opportunities offered in the prize package that includes full use of a Toyota motor vehicle including fuel card for their winning year, guaranteed performance at major festivals throughout Australia, monthly media exposure in Country Music Capital News, introductions to many of Australia’s great industry personnel, a return flight to Nashville and much more – valued at over $100,000.
 
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