Tamworth Country Music Festival has cancelled their annual cavalcade event due to safety concerns.

The annual music festival will celebrate 50 years of showcasing Australian country music in 2022.

At this stage the festival itself will be going ahead as planned, although the cavalcade will be replaced by a new, “static” format event.

The event was cancelled in 2021 due to COVID restrictions, which means 2022 will be only the second time since the 1980s that the cavalcade has been cancelled.

“A safety audit of the cavalcade, which included discussions with local police was conducted in 2020, which revealed a significant number of risks that can’t be adequately managed,” Toyota Country Music Festival Manager, Barry Harley said.

“The decision to change the cavalcade was not made lightly and we understand some may be disappointed that it will not be going ahead.

“However, we see the introduction of the Community Celebration as a positive move that will ensure local businesses, and fans still have the opportunity to be actively involved in the Festival through an equally as colourful and exciting event.”

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The event will be held in Toyota Park on Saturday 22nd January from 8am to 12pm and will feature community showcase stands, market stalls and performances by cavalcade regulars, as well as cameo artist appearances.

The Tamworth Country Music Festival – home to the Golden Guitar Awards – will be held from the 14th until the 23rd of January.

Aside from the Golden Guitar Awards, events include free concerts in Toyota Park and the Toyota Fanzone Stage, Festival Fringe, helicopter flights, the ABCRA National Finals, busking and talent competitions.

One of the free events is Kix Live in the Park on Saturday 15th January, featuring country pop-rocker Casey Barnes, The Buckleys, Darlinghurst, Hayley Jensen, Hurricane Fall and Bella Mackenzie.

Adam Brand’s only performance at the 50th Tamworth Country Music Festival is also a free event on Thursday 20th January.