Tamworth, NSW, Australia, is the Country Music Capital of Australia.

It is home to 60, 000 people.

However, during the Country Music Festival, held annually in January, the population doubles as the city fills with Akubra and cowboy-hat wearing cowguys and gals, who have a penchant for acid-washed denim shorts, tasselled vests and wacky guitar-shaped jewellery.

The streets are blocked as buskers compete with their cover versions of Garth Brooks and Aussie artists which blare from amps which have been set to overload. Those with acoustic set-ups are virtually mime astists. Except people actually stand and watch the country music mime artists in the hope they'll find a rising star and be able to say "they knew them when...".

At night, the "Alcohol Free Zones" in the main streets are ignored and revelling cow-people dance, drink and vomit until the sun comes up.

They then go and line-dance to the buskers' merry tunes all day, getting sun stroke and ya-hooing up a storm, until night falls again.

At the end of the two week festival the merrymakers return to their farms and suburban homes, and Tamworth becomes as empty as a lonely woman after a one night stand, surveying the wreckage of the party that led to her mometary contentedness which, even in the heat of the moment, she knew wouldn't last.

Ah, the cruelty of country music and the life of the party animal.

Tam"worth (?), n. [From Tamworth, Staffordshire, England.]

One of a long-established English breed of large pigs. They are red, often spotted with black, with a long snout and erect or forwardly pointed ears, and are valued as bacon producers.


© Webster 1913

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