Horsham Country Music Festival 2017 to feature new artists

COUNTRY music fans will converge on Horsham from Thursday for the city’s 10th annual country music festival.

Organisers expect a record crowd at this year’s event.

The four-day event kicks off on Thursday and runs until Sunday.

Festival co-ordinator Lyall Wheaton said there was a great line-up of artists this year. 

“Meanwhile, a motor home club from the Blue Mountains in NSW will spend three days at the festival,” he said.

Mr Wheaton said highlights included performances from Joy Adams and Justin Standley.

He said both singers would draw a crowd.

Kiara Rodrigues will perform at this year's event

“They are both highly regarded artists on the country music circuit,” he said.

The motor home club will bring about 70 people to the festival. 

The festival will kick off with walk-ups at Horsham Riverside Caravan Park from 4pm on Thursday, followed by bush balladeers at the Soundshell from 6.30pm.

Horsham’s Roberts Avenue will come alive on Friday with performers from 10am to 4pm,.

Friday night will include a tribute night at the Soundshell from 6.30pm, with music from Slim Dusty, Dolly Parton and Don Williams.

Justin Standley will make his festival debut in 2017

The buskers competition will start on Saturday at Horsham Plaza from 9am and the country music spectacular will be at the Soundshell from 1pm to 10pm.

Sunday will start with walk-ups and poets at the Wimmera Lakes Caravan Park from 9am, followed by more performers at the Soundshell from 11am to 2pm.

Mr Wheaton said three artists would make their festival debut this year, including Joy Adams from New Zealand, Justin Standley from Seaford and Dennis Morgan from Mooroopna.

Standley was an X-Factor finalist in 2012.

He will perform country music on Saturday and gospel on Sunday.

Other high quality artists this year include Johanna Hemara and Brian Letton from Tamworth NSW, Graham Rodger and Kiara Rodrigues from Queensland and Melbourne-based Col Perkins and Sandie Dodd.

Rodger will tribute Slim Dusty on Friday night and sing two sets on Saturday.

For Hemara, it is her third time at the city’s festival.

Johanna Hemara will return to the Horsham Country Music Festival for the third time

Mr Wheatson said Hemara was regarded as one of Australia’s best yodellers and was a regular on cruise ships. 

Rodrigues returns to the Wimmera after she was involved in the first ever event at the Horsham Town Hall last year. 

The 20-year-old Brisbane singer will perform throughout the festival, paying tribute to Crystal Gayle on Friday night, singing country on Saturday and gospel on Sunday.

Rodrigues will team up with Standley to sing at the Horsham RSL on Sunday night.

Mr Wheaton said the two singers’ reputations resulted in the show being sold out within a few days of reservations opening. 

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