Dermott Brereton just couldn't wait to take the journey to Tamworth, 320km north of Sydney
. He's a real fan of country music, and in January each year it's the venue for one of Australia's biggest festivals. It's not just country music bluegrass, rock and folk all get a hearing.
Tamworth's population doubles for 11 days when the festival comes to town. There's a concert, gig or show happening almost around the clock in every club, pub and open space. Most of it is free.
You'll know you're there when you see the huge golden guitar standing on the New England Highway. It was unveiled by Australia's King of Country Music, Slim Dusty, in 1988. He won more Golden Guitar awards than any other performer.
Kicking off in Peel Street, the town's main street, Dermott was blown away by the sound. Every couple of yards is a busker hoping to be discovered or at least collect some cash. People of all ages play their guitars, sing their hearts out and get into boot scooting. Families, solo artists, children you name it.
Tamworth Town Hall is where the talent quest is held. It all began in 1968 and has grown beyond anyone's belief. Past winners include the McClymont Sisters who are veterans at the festival these days. They've won several Golden Guitar awards.
Another huge success at Tamworth is the 2008 Australian of the Year, Lee Kernaghan. He is nationally acclaimed but hasn't forgotten the importance of Tamworth to him and fellow performers. Keith Urban, Tommy Emmanuel, James Blundell, Kasey Chambers, Troy Cassar-Daley, Beccy Cole, Lee's sister Tania Kernaghan, Gina Jeffreys, Melinda Schneider, Adam Harvey, Missy Higgins and John Williamson are all regular performers.
It wouldn't be a country festival without boot scooting! There's always an attempt at a new world record for the longest line dance. It's actually held by China, and with population on their side, it's probably not going to change in Tamworth, but it's loads of fun trying.
The Gallery of Stars Wax Museum is worth a visit. You will see life-sized likenesses of many of your favourite artists.