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

20-29 January 2017

 Rural Press Events is proud to announce the finalists for the 2015 Toyota Star Maker competition, Australia’s most prestigious country music talent search.
Ten of Australia’s most exciting emerging country music artists will now compete at the 36th Toyota Star Maker final, which has been the main event on the first Sunday of the iconic Tamworth Country Music Festival since 1979.
This year Toyota celebrates 20 years of support of Star Maker which offers emerging country music talent the opportunity to realise their dreams. It’s helped launch the careers of some of the industry’s biggest names including Lee Kernaghan, Keith Urban, James Blundell and Beccy Cole.
The final is set to take place on Sunday, January 18 where three grand finalists will be selected to compete in the Toyota Star Maker grand final on Friday, January 23 as a part of the Toyota Concert For Rural Australia before the winner is announced.
Entries from across the country have gone under the microscope with a panel of judges selecting the 10 finalists.
Toyota Star Maker finalists:
1. Dana Hassall, Kingsthorpe Queensland
2. Gretta Ziller, Oakleigh Victoria
3. Jess Holland, Mudgee NSW*
4. Mickey Pye, Bathurst NSW*
5. Rachael Fahim, Cherrybrook NSW
6. Sian Evans, West End Queensland
7. Taylor Moss, Cooroibah Queensland
8. Tommy Contor, Gilleston Heights NSW*
9. Tyler Hudson, Echuca Victoria
10. Jonny Taylor WA*
*Denotes previous finalists.
Toyota Star Maker Co-Ordinator and Editor of Country Music Capital News, Cheryl Byrnes praised all the entrants saying, “The Toyota Star Maker competition continues to unearth some of the most exciting new country music talent. Every year we skim the very top of the talent pool and bring them on this journey. There’s no doubt the judges find it tough but it’s a sign of just how healthy the industry is and overall, that excites us.”
In addition to the Toyota Star Maker grand final, the Toyota Concert for Rural Australia will feature a bill which includes Toyota ambassador, and winner of the 1982 Star Maker competition, Lee Kernaghan plus The McClymonts and the 2014 Toyota Star Maker winner, Jared Porter.
Barry Harley, General Manager of Rural Press Events said, “Toyota Star Maker has been associated with so many country music icons, from Keith Urban to Lee Kernaghan and more recently Samantha McClymont, Kaylee Bell and 2014 winner, Jared Porter. Every year the competition gets bigger and better and 2015 will be no different - festival goers will again be in for a treat.
Tony Cramb, Executive Director of Sales and Marketing for Toyota Australia said, “The company is proud of its long standing support of emerging country music artists through the Toyota Star Maker.
“Toyota has sponsored Star Maker for 20 years as part of its genuine commitment to supporting rural and regional Australia. It’s Toyota’s way of saying thank you to everyone who has supported the brand, its vehicles and its national dealer network for over half a century,” Mr Cramb said.
The Toyota Star Maker Final will be held at the Tamworth Town Hall from 7pm on Sunday, 18 January, 2015. The final will feature the Top 10 and former winners Tanya Self (1995), Kirsty Lee Akers (2007) and Jared Porter (2014) and compere Darren Coggan (1996).
Standard and Premium Tickets for the Final 10 are available from www.entertainmentvenues.com.au or phone 02 6767 5300.
The Toyota Star Maker Grand Final will be staged at Toyota Park from 6:30pm on Friday, January 23, 2015. The grand final will feature the Top 3 and along with Lee Kernaghan, Travis Collins, the Bob Corbett Band, Luke Austen, Luke Dickens, Kaylee Bell and Jared Porter.
*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
Star Maker is an annual search for an individual star that has the greatest potential to take advantage of the opportunities offered in the prize package which includes the recording of a full album with a leading producer, 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 to attend the CMA Festival and a performance at the 12th CMA International GlobaLive Concert, an event which precedes the 43rd CMA Festival in June 2015 staged by AristoMedia and produced by the CMA Nashville, and much more – valued at over $100,000. For further information and T&C’s please head to www.starmaker.com.au.
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Toyota Country Music Festival Tamworth 2015
All roads lead to Tamworth in January for the annual Tamworth Country Music Festival from Friday 16 January to Sunday 25 January 2015. It’s Australia’s largest music festival and one of the top 10 music festivals in the world.
The variety of country music is endless during the festival with over 800 performers and 4,000 shows across 120 different venues. There are over 600 buskers in Peel Street alone, providing a diverse range of entertainment each day – it’s no wonder the Festival attracts over 55,000 visitors.
The pinnacle event of the festival are The Golden Guitars - Country Music Awards of Australia, when the who’s who of Australian country music gather with country music fans to see who will win the famous Golden Guitar. The Awards are held on the second Saturday of the festival at the Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre (locally referred to as TRECC).