Here is a typical day in Tamworth, very broadly speaking.
Remember that most venues in Tamworth
have bands every three or fours hours,
all day every day for the entire festival from 10am till 11pm.
Try to do three events per day.
- 8am till 10am - Breakfast
It's time for Bush Poets, Banjos and Bluegrass.
I have never been to a Bush Poets Brekkie,
but I hear the crowds are enthusiastic.
A great way to start the day if you are camping,
or too slack to cook your own breakfast.
Several to choose from, every day.
Also Writers in the Round at the Services Club starts at 9am.
- 10am till Noon - Out And About
Firstly, all those needing a cuppa to start the day
head to the shops for a coffee and a cake.
Second, all those needing a walk usually wander up and down Peel Street
looking at the buskers.
Thirdly, all the pensioners and grey nomads touring Australia by camper van
head to the Community Centre or a similar venue for some "old time favourites"
or the "nostalgia hit parade". It's often great stuff.
Keep your eyes open for things you really want to see,
sometimes happening at early starting times.
- Noon till 2pm - Lunch
Head to your favourite watering hole.
Favourites include The Southgate Inn, The Post Office Hotel and Joe Maguires.
Time for lunch or breakfast as the case may be.
- 2pm till 5pm - Afternoon Surprises
Many great things happen in the afternoon, rather than the evening.
Especially free things,
and things where "special guests" might appear, unannounced.
You have to read the programme in the paper carefully.
Anything I could suggest might be jam packed anyway.
Sometimes too there are great paying gigs in the afternoon -
check out the listings for the Capitol Theatre,
the Goonoo Goonoo room at the Longyard and Diggers Showroom.
Go to something every afternoon.
- 5pm till 8pm - Tea Time
Basically everyone has to eat.
Find a pub or a club with a reasonable bistro
and hopefully some decent music
and settle down for a couple of hours.
- 8pm till 11pm - The True Fans
Virtually all the big-name ticketed concerts are at 8pm.
If you want to see a couple of big names,
then buy your tickets either on-line,
or at the ticket office in Peel Street as soon as you arrive.
However, there is lots of other stuff on.
Don't wander from place to place trying to find the ultimate gig
- just pick something, pay your money if necessary, and stick with it.
- 11pm till 1:30am - Rock 'n' Roll or Honky-Tonk
This is when all the young people emerge to see loud music.
It's a strange mix of genuine country rock,
rock bands wearing cowboy hats and pretending to be country, and
mind-blowing blues and retro rock bands.
Two main venues are The Albert and the Courthouse Hotel,
but there are others including the Services Club, The Family Hotel (honky tonk) and the Imperial Hotel.
Wests has Travis List and Friends doing honky tonk music in the Legends Bar
for nine nights straight from 11:15pm.
Sometimes I wonder when these people ever sleep.