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NEWS 2013

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2013 - October - Performers, Awards, Sponsor Updates

    1. Latest Performer Announcements

    There will be a fantastic array of performers at this year's Festival. This month we can announce the following great artists:

    • Leanne Castley (ACT) - With a solid repertoire of originals and contemporary country crossover Leanne has had extensive airplay with her recordings and music videos well known across the region. Leanne replaces Aleyce Simmonds who is unavailable due to unforeseen circumstances.
    • Dylan Hekimian (ACT) - Emerging local roots performer with a novel guitar playing style that adds a new dimension to percussion and rhythmic music – Festival Director’s “Rising Roots Star” and worth a session just for the experience.
    • Betty A (Texas USA) - Fresh from a regional town just outside Houston comes a lady with a fine voice and unique playing style. With a range of original songs that touch upon Miranda Lambert to Melissa Etheridge Betty is performer that is so memorable and a must see at the Festival.
    • The Guitar Cases (ACT) – With a new album the duo are set to make new waves in blues and country roots with their classy originals inspired by life, its temptations, traps and rewards!


    2. Sponsor Updates


    We are pleased to advise the support of new and renewing sponsors that make the Festival possible, in particular:

  • ACTEWAGL – with in-kind support providing the Outback Club Marquee and drink bottles for our thirsty band of merry volunteers! We appreciate their support for the Festival and look forward to promoting their wide range of essential services

  • RockAuto Parts – North America’s leading online auto parts distributor with a keen interest in servicing the Australian market and is assisting with the Muster. Maggie Miller, Marketing Executive said " RockAuto is proud to be associated with the Canberra Ute Car Truck Muster and looks forward a great future together”

  • Shannons Insurance – Long-time supporter of the Festival and Muster as the leading specialist motor vehicle insurer that we all appreciate and respect. Check out their green marquee around the muster display area.

    3. The Abbey on Friday Night

    There will be a special James Blundell concert at The Abbey on the Friday night. James will be joined with Brewn’, Leanne Castley, West Texas Crude and special guest Col Finley. Earlybird and Fully-Paid Festival weekend pass tickets do include this event (please note that complimentary tickets are excluded) so get your weekend tickets from Ticketek or the Festival Website to ensure you don’t miss this special event. If this is not your style there will be a massive blues and roots concert on the Southern Cross Main Stage at the Festival venue in Hall featuring blues legend Sean Hale, Tony Jaggers, Anni Piper and Marji Curran.

    4. Motor Neurone Disease Research A Festival Beneficiary!


    With one of our original performers and supporters afflicted with Motor Neurone Disease, the Canberra Country Blues & Roots Festival will support fundraising for research for its elimination. As per Wikipedia “The motor neuron diseases (MND) are a group of neurological disorders that selectively affect motor neurons, the cells that control voluntary muscle activity including speaking, walking, swallowing, and general movement of the body. They are generally progressive in nature, and cause increasingly debilitating disability.”

    Festival management are very happy to be able to further assist people with disabilities as well as providing practical recognition and support for carers who do so much for the wider community.

    5. Canberra Blues & Roots Awards Finalists Announced

    The inaugural Canberra Blues & Roots Awards will be presented by leading media personalities at 3pm on Saturday afternoon 16 November at the Federation Stage. The finalists for 2013 include:

  • Anni Piper

  • Cil Van Der Velden

  • Dorothy Jane Gosper

  • Marji Curran

  • Sean Hale

    Awards include Best Blues Album, Live Recording, Best Lyrics, Best Music and Music Video and will include some performances. Don’t miss it.

    6. Tickets Available @ Ticketek & Camping Online

    Festival Weekend and Day Pass Tickets are still available. Campers please note that powered campsites must be booked pre-festival - no exceptions! Unpowered vans & tents are fine on the day of the Festival, but will have to line up @ Ticket Office with daytrippers so we advise to book ahead!

    • For Tickets Only: Festival 3-Day Pass and Day Tickets are available from Ticketek
    • For Tickets + Camping: 3-Day Festival Pass and camping sites Go to Website Online Registration

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2013 - June - Performers, Volunteers, Renewable Energy & Companion Card Announcements

    1. Latest Performer Announcements

    There will be a fantastic array of performers at this year's Festival. This month we can announce the following great artists:

    • Tony Jaggers (NSW) - Regional music legend performing a mix of classic blues & roots with a selection of his originals from his latest recordings.
    • Johnny Huckle (ACT) - Popular amongst all ages and one of the most respected indigenous country blues & roots performers within the music industry.
    • Jackie Dee (NSW) - Illawarra's finest with full band performing her new album tracks as well as some crowd favourites main stage and other over the weekend.
    • The Long And Short Of It (VIC) – Award winners from south of the Murray bringing their uptempo and melodic sounds to the festival!
    • Sami Cooke (NSW) – Rising country crossover star from the South West Slopes and past Country's Got Talent winner now winning hearts nationwide!


    2. Renewable Energy Developments!


    We are pleased to advise the continued move towards renewable energy sources for the Festival. Last year we introduced solar powered lighting in pathways to camping areas. Building on this, November's Festival will see internal marquee solar powered lighting as well as some decorative items to enhance the nightlife feel of the Festival. We also encourage all vendors to utilise renewable energy where possible in their stalls. We are utilising LED lighting where possible to reduce power demand and hope to have one stage sound system powered by solar during the daytime! Watch this space!

    3. Volunteers Welcome With Online Webpage


    It has taken some time, but finally we have an online registration webpage for festival volunteers (thanks Kris for your efforts). The Festival requires around 200 volunteers to run smoothly and all types of skills and talents are welcome. We especially welcome Work Experience students, production tekkies, hospitality folk amongst others. So check out being a Volunteer:

    4. Companion Card Accepted Here!


    The Canberra Country Blues & Roots Festival has joined the Companion Card Scheme and now welcomes the Companion Card from 2013 onward!

    The Companion Card is issued to people with a disability who require lifelong attendant care support. Cardholders present their Companion Card when arriving at the Ticket Office at the Festival site where they will be issued with a free ticket for the carer of the Companion Card holder.

    Festival management are very happy to be able to further assist people with disabilities as well as providing practical recognition and support for carers who do so much for the wider community.

    Tickets Available @ Ticketek & Camping Online

    Festival Weekend and Day Pass Tickets are still available. Campers please note that powered campsites must be booked pre-festival - no exceptions! Unpowered vans & tents are fine on the day of the Festival, but will have to line up @ Ticket Office with daytrippers so we advise to book ahead!

    • For Tickets Only: Festival 3-Day Pass and Day Tickets are available from Ticketek
    • For Tickets + Camping: 3-Day Festival Pass and camping sites Go to Website Online Registration

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2013 - May - Performer and Awards Announcements

    1. Latest Performer Announcements

    There will be a fantastic array of performers at this year's Festival. This month we can announce the following great artists:

    • James Blundell (QLD) - multi golden guitar winner and living legend in Australian country music appearing main stage Saturday night and we're recording the live performance.
    • Luke O'Shea (NSW) - fresh from his 2013 Golden Guitar and hosting Songwriters In The Round Shows with entertaining show that has seen him rise to the top this year.
    • Aleyce Simmonds (NSW) - Winner of the Female Rising Star Award and 3 finalists in 2013 Golden Guitars she is firmly one of Australia's top contemporary country singer songwriters.
    • Sean Hale (VIC) – with a decade as session guitarist on the US circuit with a Who's Who of country/rock artists he will be recording a new live album on main stage of his award winning gospel blues
    • Marji Curran Band (ACT) – Canberra's leading roots act with all the rhythm and melody of crossover originals and covers to get crowds crying, laughing and dancing!


    2. Festival Bush Poets Lineup Details!

    We are pleased to advise that Lorraine McCrimmon & "The Old Battler" (Bill Williams) will be leading the Bush Poets Breakfasts on both Saturday 16 Nov and Sunday 17 Nov. Held at the True Blue Stage there will be an enhanced selection of food available to satisfy campers and fans of Aussie yarns alike. Naturally, walk-ups are welcome and other well-known personalities will be announced progressively over the next few months. This is always one of the most popular sessions at the Festival and not to be missed.

    3. Award Nominations/Entries Open

    Entries are open for the Awards presented at the Festival:
    • Canberra Country Music Awards – to provide recognition and incentive to performer through their recordings. Judging occurs during October with Awards presented on Sunday 17 Nov at the Festival site – entry forms can be Downloaded Here

    • Canberra Country Songwriting Awards – to provide recognition and incentive to songwriters. Judging occurs during October with Awards presented on Saturday 16 Nov at the Festival site – entry forms can be Downloaded Here

    • Country’s Got Talent - to provide recognition and incentive to amateur singers. Judging occurs during the Festival with Awards presented on Sunday 17 Nov at the Festival site – entry forms can be Downloaded Here

    4. Workshops

    The draft workshop program has been released with our best ever lineup. Whether it's recording an album, understanding all about mastering and publishing or getting some vocal harmony together the range is simply awesome this year. The Workshops will be conducted at The Outpost located around 300 metres from the closest stage to assist in focusing and enjoying the sessions led by some of the leading industry business and musicians in their field. And the best part is it's all included in the Festival entry!

    Tickets Available @ Ticketek & Camping Online

    Festival Weekend and Day Pass Tickets are still available. Campers please note powered campsites must be booked pre-festival - no exceptions! Unpowered vans & tents are fine on the day of the Festival, but will have to line up @ Ticket Office with daytrippers so we advise to book ahead!

    • For Tickets Only: Festival 3-Day Pass and Day Tickets are available from Ticketek
    • For Tickets + Camping: 3-Day Festival Pass and camping sites Go to Website Online Registration

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2013 - April - Performer and Venue Announcements

This is year is looking great for the Festival - check out these developments:

    Performer Announcements

    Some CCBRF13 performers just announced include:

    • Carter + Carter (VIC) - multi golden guitar winners and ever popular amongst our audiences with their latest album "To The Moon And Back" and favourite hits.
    • Anni Piper (NSW) - Australia's leading female blues player performing her Texas Hold 'Em, Jailbait and Split Second uptempo and sultry sets.
    • Mark Shay (NSW) – leading indie country rock artist and our official Ute Muster Ambassador with his latest release.
    • Louise Saint John (NSW) – The Country Belle of the Yass Valley with her long awaited "Heavenly Eyes" album


    Festival Name Update

    We have modified the Festival name to Canberra Country Blues & Roots Festival and for good reasons. Whilst travelling campers knew the scope of the Festival our reviews of the Canberra urban market indicated that they had very limited understanding or interest in what they perceived as a historic country event. We have always had the full diversity of country with bluegrass, blues, gospel, roots, swing, traditional, contemporary, mountain, country rock, honky tonk, rockabilly and yes, even western - but we could not get that message across - even to local media and more importantly the ACT government who have not financially assisted since we started. Funny how the name change has also widened perceptions and the doors are now opening!

    Cil & Snow Onboard @ Blackboard Stage

    We welcome back Cil & Snow who will be running the Bundy Stage. Always popular and handling blackboard and walkup performers, this copule are living legends. And Snow will holding a harmonica workshop - so bring your mouth organ or blues harp along as he is one of Australia's best and such as treat in passing on his knowlege.


    New Infrastructure For The Sessions Stage

    The Festival Director is happy announce that the new Marquee for the Sessions Stage has been acquired and will arrive in May. As a result of the larger capacity the Sessions is being relocated to be the very first venue past the Ticket Office gate so audiences can get immediately into the music. And yes again the Sessions will host the TSA Showcase under the guidance of the multi-talented Darryl Bowen.

    Tickets Available @ Ticketek

    Festival Weekend and Day Pass Tickets are still available. Campers please note powered campsites must be booked pre-festival - no exceptions! Unpowered vans & tents are fine on the day of the Festival, but will have to line up @ Ticket Office with daytrippers so we advise to book ahead!

    • For Tickets Only: Festival 3-Day Pass and Day Tickets are available from Ticketek
    • For Tickets + Camping: 3-Day Festival Pass and camping sites Go to Website Online Registration

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2013 - March - Canberra Country Songwriting Award Entries Open

Entry forms for the peak music and songwriting awards at the Canberra Country Music Festival have opened with a large fields of submissions anticipated for 2012.
  • The Canberra Country Songwriting Awards are unique in that they have both major categories and sub-genres of country music segmented in professional, amateur and international sections. In order to provide recognition and incentive to Australian musicians and composers the Australian Independent Music Association organises the annual Federation Songwriting Competition and related Canberra Country Songwriting Awards for Country Music. The Awards are presented at the Canberra Country Music Festival in November. The 2012 Award categories are:

    • Best Country Song Gold Award

    • Best Country Song Silver Award

    • Best Country Song by Professional Songwriter Award

    • Best Country Song by Amateur Songwriter Award

    • Best Country Song by International Songwriter Award

    • Outstanding Country Lyrics Award

    • Outstanding Country Music Award

    • Judges' Commendation Award

    • Country Composition Youth Award (under 18 years)

      Country Music Sub-genre Awards

    • Australiana Songwriting Award - Australian Professional, Australian Amateur & International sections

    • Balladeer Songwriting Award - Australian Professional, Australian Amateur & International sections

    • Bluegrass Songwriting Award - Australian Professional, Australian Amateur & International sections

    • Children Songwriting Award - Australian Professional, Australian Amateur & International sections

    • Countemporary Country Songwriting Award - Australian Professional, Australian Amateur & International sections

    • Country Blues Songwriting Award - Australian Professional, Australian Amateur & International sections

    • Country Gospel Songwriting Award - Australian Professional, Australian Amateur & International sections

    • Country Rock Songwriting Award - Australian Professional, Australian Amateur & International sections

    • Folk/Alternate Country Songwriting Award - Australian Professional, Australian Amateur & International sections

    • Honky Tonk Songwriting Award - Australian Professional, Australian Amateur & International sections

    • Rockabilly Songwriting Award - Australian Professional, Australian Amateur & International sections

    • Traditional Country Songwriting Award - Australian Professional, Australian Amateur & International sections

    • Western Swing Songwriting Award - Australian Professional, Australian Amateur & International sections

    • Western Songwriting Award - Australian Professional, Australian Amateur & International sections

    Entries close 30 September 2013. Canberra Country Songwriting Award Entry forms can be downloaded here.

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2013 - Feb - Survey Results Reveal Who Where + What

    CCMF12 Festival Survey Results

    During the 2012 Canberra Country Music Festival a survey of some 110 people was undertaken with some very useful feedback recorded. Organisers use such information in planning and improving the Festival each year and 2011 provided some of the most comprehensive data to date. Here are some of the key results:

    • Gender
      • 58% Female
      • 42% Male

    • Age
      • 3% 18 - 29 years
      • 32% 30 - 49 years
      • 58% 50 - 65 years
      • 13% over 65 years

    • Home Location
      • 33% ACT
      • 55% NSW
      • 9% VIC
      • 3% QLD
      • 3% TAS
      • 3% International (China, France, New Zealand, Slovakia)

    • First Time To CCMF?
      • 45% Yes
      • 55% No

    • Other Country Music Festivals Attended
      • 61% Tamworth Country Music Week
      • 6% Gympie Music Muster
      • 10% Mildura Country Music Festival
      • 18% Others (National Folk Festival, Bungendore, CMC, Wandong, etc)

    • Main Attraction To Festival
      • 38% Location
      • 31% Performers
      • 15% Cost
      • 2% Other

    • Knowledge Of Festival
      • 27% Internet
      • 21% Friends/Family
      • 19% TV/Radio
      • 9% Newspaper/Magazine
      • 27% Other (Road Signage, Brochure, Performers, School)

    • Camping?
      • 33% Yes
      • 67% No

    • Things To Improve
      • 16% More Advertising/Promotion
      • 4% More Shade Areas
      • 4% Performers (Keither Urban, etc)
      • 3% Signage

    Thanks to all who participated and our surveyors who were volunteers gaining work experience from various schools and colleges across the region.


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2010 News Webpage - Click Here