Featuring some of the best country acts Australia has to offer, the Slim Dusty Kempsey Festival will be held over four days from September 3-6 2020during the anniversary month of the passing of the legendary Slim Dusty in 2003.
For the first time the festival will take place on the beautiful grounds in front of the Slim Dusty Centre.
All profits will go towards the upkeep of the Slim Dusty Centre. The Centre attracted almost 50 events and an estimated 30,000 visitors in 2019, making it a major drawcard for the region. Organisers are confident the popular festival will lead to a significant increase in tourism, in turn providing substantial economic benefits to the Kempsey region.
Chairman of the Slim Dusty Centre, Dr. David Kirkpatrick, was enthusiastic when asked about changes to the festival.
"We are delighted that the festival which is now in its 15th year is returning with a format and line-up that is sure to appeal to music fans far and wide. We are also mindful that the event will not be moving away from the ethos of the original festival or ignoring its roots - a celebration of the music of one of our quintessential and most loved Australians, Slim Dusty," he said.
Mayor Liz Campbell said she is looking forward to the stellar line-up for the festival.
"I'm thrilled that our signature Kempsey country music event has attracted Kasey Chambers to headline a great line-up of talent," mayor Campbell said.
"It's a fitting reward for the work that's gone into rebranding and growing the Festival."
"As we all know, the community is only starting on the road to recover from the terrible bushfires - physically, economically and emotionally - and led by Kasey this promises to be an event that will be a huge cultural and economic boost for our Shire come September."
Headlining the Festival is Australia's queen of country, Kasey Chambers,who captivates audiences with her fascinating blend of folk, country, blues, and rock. The talented singer-songwriter became the youngest female ever to be inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2018 and is the winner of 13 ARIAMusic Awards and 10 APRA Music Awards.
Another much loved singer-songwriter who will be performing at the festival is Felicity Urquhart,Urquharthas opened for Willie Nelson, toured with Kenny Rogers, and is leading the finalist's field for this week's Golden Guitar Awards with eight finalists category places.
This diverse line-up also features five-time Golden Guitar finalist Tom Maxwell, who is one of the leading forces of today's crop of balladeers. One of just a handful of travelling bush balladeers still on the road full time, Maxwell's fan base continues to expand as he preserves fascinating stories though his captivating music.
Triple Golden Guitar winners The Bushwackerswill appearwith the stellar line-up.Renowned for their energetic live shows and all-Australian music that focuses on the stories, humour and sense of history that has helped forge our national identity, they are now in their 49th year.
Joining these artists is singer-songwriter Luke O'Sheawhose inspirational music reflects his connection to Australia's land and the fascinating people who live here. He is a finalist in three categories at this year's Golden Guitar Awardsand is the only Australian artist, aside from Slim Dusty, to win three consecutive Golden Guitar Awards for 'Heritage Song of the Year'.
Adding to the homegrown talent is Brad Butcherwho is rapidly gaining a large fan base due to his distinctive voice and inspiring, heartfelt storytelling. This popular artist hasn't slowed down since winning 'New Talent of the Year' at the 2018 Golden Guitar Awardsand is a finalist in three categories this year.
Tickets for the Slim Dusty Kempsey Festival go on sale in March.