Horsham Country Music Festival to kick off

THE seventh annual Horsham Country Music Festival starts tomorrow with two events.

Peter Coad will be master of ceremonies for a free open mic event at Horsham Caravan Park from 4pm.

Coad will then front the opening night headliner Peter Coad and the Coad Sisters and Jimmy Hermel at the soundshell.

Also on the bill for opening night at the soundshell will be Kyabram artist Reg Poole.

Friday night at the soundshell will be a tribute night with the acts covering classic country artists such as John Denver, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash and Slim Dusty.

The big guns are slated for Saturday's entertainment at the soundshell, with Sydney songstress Johanna Hemara joining a range of headliners.

Also on Saturday's bill will be Don Costa, Col Perkins, Michelle Little, Andrew D'Rosario, Trevor Keliar, Sandra Humphries and Sandie Dodd.

Saturday's soundshell entertainment will run from 1pm to 10pm.

Festival organiser Lyall Wheaton said Hemara had been in town all week promoting the festival.

She played for Sunnyside Lutheran Retirement Village residents in Horsham yesterday morning.

He said this year was set to be the biggest and best edition of the festival.

"Motel and caravan park

bookings have exceeded last year, which is a positive sign," he said.

"We are expecting to attract a record crowd."

The soundshell will host the Golden Grain Gospel Music Marathon on Sunday from 11am to 2pm, before the festival finale with six headline acts performing three songs each.

The festival will also have free events in Roberts Place on Friday during the day and buskers will perform at Horsham Plaza on Saturday morning.

Weather for the outdoor event is set to remain fine for most of the weekend, with temperatures in the mid to high 20s during the afternoons and in the low teens for the nights.

Mr Wheaton said admission to the soundshell was $16 for tomorrow and Friday's performances, $22 for Saturday night and $14 for Sunday night. Festival passes for all events were $59.

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