The heat hasn’t stopped them, nor rain. They come with guitars, harmonicas, double basses and microphones. Some are first timers, others have been lugging in their gearfor a quarter century or more.

Looking for fame (and a few tips): Jacob Ridgeway, from Newcastle, drew big crowds when he busked in Peel St. He also played a few indoor gigs, such as Teamo Teahouse, above, during festival. Picture: Peter Hardin 260117PHA054

They all have one thing in common –busking on Tamworth’s “Boulevard of Dreams” with the hope of being discovered and making it big in country music.

For the past week The Leader has been asking its readers to vote in a people’s choice poll for the best buskers this year via our website.

These are the ones you voted for as winners so far.

There’s plenty more out there, though –350 plus buskers actually –so get along to Peel Street and judge for yourself before the festival ends onSunday.


The accomplished guitarist and vocalist had a crowd around him from day one and has plucked his way into a few walk-up finals around town. You can catch him outside Perfect Pieces in Peel St when he not gigging with some admirers. Blake won the senior section in the Junior Battle of the Young Stars.


Three boys from Gulgong who showed us all how to play a box. Yes a box. From a charity store. Big. Green. Loud. As a drum. There were a few guitars and some great singing too. They had a rollicking good time and so did the crowd.



After a hiatus this ensemble is backand those who find them playing at the boutique end of Peel Streetare in for a treat. It’s a big band with a big sound.


He’s a bit shy, but boy can he play and sing. Izak has been setting up shop outside Illegal Lengthsand has been drawing in quite a fewmusic lovers with his skill on the guitar.


Do you want to learn how to yodel? Taylor can teach you …she sang it to us. It may not be the most popular of styles these days but with her banjo and her vocal gymnastics she sure is one to listen to. You’ll find her inPeel St near the sushi shop. On Saturday, Taylor took out the junior section in the Battle of the Bluegrass competition.


This Novacastrian has played at a number of spots around town, from the street to the back of tearooms, stages to walk-ups. His is a mix of modern pop and country, with a big voice and a rockingheart.


A trio of dynamic young performers who havelined up gigs around town. Their close harmonies and sweet voices still manage to cut through the din of the Boulevard of Dreams. Oh, and their drummer’s pretty laid back too. On Saturday, the Dennis Sisters took out the Battle of the Bands competition.


The finger picking goodness of Reid, from Adelaide, made me stop and do a double-take. He was playing a surfing classic, without a capo, and his fingers were like lightening. He’s been playing for, ooh, a good 18years and he’s only 23. Watch out for him. He’ll be back playing on the streettoday.

Boulevard of dreams: Buskers come lugging guitars, sound equipment and hopes to Tamworth each year. Photo: Gareth Gardner 200117GGC07


The official final judging of the Toyota Country Music Busking Competitionwill be at tonight’s concert in Bicentennial Park from 7pm. Entry to the competition, where the Top10 finalists will perform, is free.

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