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PRESS RELEASE: 16 December 2019

2020 New Zealand Country Music Festival

23 May 2020 to 31 May 2020


For many years at Queen’s Birthday weekend in Gore there has been a festive feeling as country musicians and followers have come together to celebrate country music.

Now key events organisations – the Gore Country Music Club, NZ Songwriters Trust, NZ Gold Guitar Committee and the Gore District Council - have come together to form a New Zealand Country Music Festival Trust.

Gore District has long been known as New Zealand’s Capital of Country Music.  Each year in June organisations collaborate to profile the Gore region and celebrate country music with hundreds of visitors from around New Zealand and overseas converging on Gore.

In future years, the Festival Trust will work with event organisers who have created something special to include in the events calendar for the week.  The aim is to increase the profile of Gore and country music as well as New Zealand’s outstanding country music artists. 

“Forming the New Zealand Country Music Festival Trust is an exciting step in building on what is already happening over the week of Queen's Birthday. Since 1976 Gore has been known as the Capital of Country Music, over 100,000 hours of volunteer time each year goes into running the activities and the latest economic survey completed by Gore District attributes approximately 1 million dollars of return to the district.  This is a significant event that Gore residents can be proud of” say Trust Chairperson Jeff Rea.

Gore has a strong standing in the country music community both within New Zealand and overseas. The New Zealand Country Music Festival Trust will be working hard with its partners within the music industry, sponsors, local funders, sister city Tamworth and many more.

In 2020 the New Zealand Country Music Festival celebration will run for eight days starting on Saturday, 23 May 2020 and the week finishing with the final of the MLT NZ Gold Guitar Awards on the Sunday night. Throughout the week there will be a wide range of events for both local Southlanders and visitors to the region to enjoy.

If you have an idea or an event that you would like to see incorporated into New Zealand Country Music Festival, please get in touch with one of the trustees.

The Trustees of the New Zealand Country Music Festival Trust are Jeff Rea (Chairman), Julie Mitchell, Phil Geary, Barbara MacKay, Bronwyn Reid and Mayor Tracy Hicks.



Jeff Rea - Chairperson

New Zealand Country Music Festival Trust

Mobile: 027 222 9774


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