Tamworth Country Music Festival 2022: Wave of cancellations ahead of festival amid Omicron hesitation | Examiner


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Just as the local tourism industry was on the brink of a pandemic recovery, it suffered another heavy blow, with a series of cancellations just weeks into the busiest time of the year. Trailer parks, hotels and motels would normally be reserved for January’s Tamworth Country Music Festival, but the hesitation around the latest COVID-19 variant means some travelers are hitting the pause button. City Lights Caravan Park owner Deborah Norris said visitors canceled reservations last month, but in the past few days the phones have gone silent. “They panicked at first, but now I think they’re waiting for a decision, or if the borders will be closed,” she said. “I really think people are waiting, they are waiting to see how things go with this new variant.” When I ask people why they cancel, some of them say they are not vaccinated – well the answer to this is to get yourself vaccinated if you want to travel. READ ALSO: Ms Norris said normally at this time of year the park would be full before the festival, but older visitors to the city are worried about contracting the infection and would rather wait until 2023. “Some of them, because they have been coming for so long, they just transfer their money, ”she said. “I can’t refund everyone the money, COVID has been here now in its third year and people can’t use it as an excuse anymore.” At Tamworth’s Austin Tourist Park there have also been a handful of cancellations, but capacity is still close before the festival. All powered sites have been booked at the park, with very few cabins remaining available. Meanwhile, Paradise T ourist Park has been hit with cancellations, and the Best Western Sanctuary Inn in Tamworth has reported that buses packed with people were withdrawing. It comes after a wave of venues pulled the pin from their festival events, including the Tamworth Services Club, the Academy of Country Music and, most recently, the country music festival held at the Barraba RSL Club. Despite the concerns, many locals like Ms Norris understand how important the festival is to the local community and many are supporting it.



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