Once a year people from around New Zealand flock to the Deep South for a weekend filled to the brim with all things country.
That’s changed this year, bringing nine days full of activities to the home of Kiwi country music - Gore.
From ute musters to street busking, the inaugural Tussock Country Music Festival has it all and for organisers, it’s a chance to breathe a sigh of relief to get going again.
“Not many spare beds and even fewer spare seats, I think most if not all events have been a sell-out,” organiser Annabel Roy told 1 NEWS.
Singer Tami Neilson says the stellar turnout is a real testament to the local country music-loving community.
“They’re just genuinely lovely people who put their heart and soul into this annual event.”
She picked up both best song and artist at last night’s New Zealand Country Music Awards, a “pretty special” achievement in a male-dominated field.
“Women only make up 10 per cent of radio airplay, and our awards and our recognition. So as a female to win both categories, it feels pretty special and taking one for the team.”
Other hopefuls will be taking to the stage this weekend for the prestigious Gold Guitar Awards, hoping to follow in her footsteps.
It’s the 47th edition of the competition, last year was the first time in its history that the event was cancelled due to Covid-19.
Now over 800 contestants are ready to take their shot, the country scene is in good hands with its popularity stronger than ever.