The Tamworth Regional Council and the Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA) announced the finalists for the 2018 Toyota Golden Guitar Awards on 21 November.

The music festival will be held from Friday 19 to Sunday 28 January 2018 with the 46th Toyota Golden Guitar Awards on Saturday 27 January 2018 at the Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre.

At ABC Studios in Sydney, hosts Adam Eckersley and Brooke McClymont helped reveal the finalists in all categories, including the new Album of the Year categories – Contemporary Country Album of the Year and Traditional Country Album of the Year – which along with the Alt Country Album of the Year, will see the winners from these categories vie for the overall Country Music Album of the Year award.

CMAA Chairman Mr Dobe Newton said the decision to introduce the new category ensured the Awards are more inclusive of the different styles and genres of country music being performed.

“Today’s finalists’ announcement has demonstrated the quality and depth of talent we have in Australian country music across a range of genres, with many artists receiving their first nomination and others multiple nominations. The event has certainly set the stage for an incredible showcase in Tamworth on January 27 when we announce the winners,” said Mr Newton.

Leading the charge with six finalist places each is Kasey Chambers, The McClymonts, and Travis Collins & Amber Lawrence.

The Bushwackers have obtained five finalist spots, with four finalist places going to Lee Kernaghan, Shane Nicholson, and The Davidson Brothers.

Other finalists include Fanny Lumsden, Brad Butcher, Adam Brand, Ashleigh Dallas, O’Shea, Tania Kernaghan, Darren Coggan, Matt Cornell, and Tom Curtain.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said the New South Wales Government was proud to support such a renowned regional event.

“The Tamworth Country Music Festival is recognised world-wide, attracting significant overnight visitation to the state and delivering important economic and community benefits,” Mr Marshall said.

“Congratulations to all of the finalists announced today for the 2018 Golden Guitar Awards, the most prestigious award ceremony for the Australian country music industry.”

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