fRETFEST – Find Of The Year 2020

Press Release 14th August 2019
Tamworth Talent Quest Seeks Support

The long lauded talent quest, Fret-Fest, is calling for support from the music city, says founder, Al Buchan (Photo available on request).

Fretfest is now on, in Tamworth, with thanks to The Pub Group for providing a venue, Tanglewood Guitars for prizes and local radio station, 88.9fm and Tamworth Regional Council for lending a hand.

But entries are down on previous years and Mr Buchan is urging the community to get behind this proven opportunity, to help reveal the new stars of tomorrow and liven up the local music scene.

Fretfest bore fruit early in its founding with Aussie acoustic music star, Pete Murray, going on to sell over 1 million albums after playing regularly at the singer songwriter showcase in Brisbane in 1999.

When contacted for a comment in support of Fretfest, Pete Murray said, Fretfest was one of my earliest gigs, and it gave me the opportunity to play my original music to an appreciative crowd.

Buchan laments, I must admit we aren’t seeing the high level of entries that has made Fretfest a success in the past, but there’s plenty of enthusiasm from supporters and we’re keen to promote it.

For 20 years, Fretfest has shone a light on talented guitarists and songwriters to help them gain traction in an ailing music industry, with a variety of music competitions and showcase events in Brisbane and the company behind it (Fretfest Pty Ltd) is now based in Tamworth, led by Al Buchan.

Over the years, Fretfest has revealed an admirable array of new-comers with potential. Among them, Kate Miller-Heidke, then just 19yo, later went on to develop her music career and Kate represented Australia at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, in Israel, taking her music to the world.

Buchan says, I came to Tamworth with excitement because Tamworth is touted as being the music city and my aim has always been to provide meaningful opportunities for musicians who write their own songs and play guitar, to showcase their songs for those who want to hear great new music!

Songwriters and guitarist are being urged to step up to the plate and have a go, now. Prizes include 4 guitars and a spot on the Fanzone stage at the Tamworth Country Music Festival in January 2020.

In July, we held the Under 18 age category and the talent was just phenomenal and, right now, our attention is turning to the 18 to 25 age category, with the audition on Sat 24th August, said Buchan.

Older age categories will then follow, says Buchan. The 25-40 age audition is on 12th October and the Over 40 age audition is on 16th November, so there’s plenty of time and everyone can enter.

Congratulations to 16yo Trinity Woodhouse from the Central Coast, 14yo Hamish Nilsson from Tamworth and 11yo Allegra Dunning from Katoomba, each of whom has made it to the Grand Final, which will be held during the country music festival on Saturday 25th January from 6pm till 9pm.

For entry, terms, conditions and details go to the website >

SEE ATTACHED hi-resolution photo (free to publish)
Caption: Al Buchan with Tanglewood guitar prizes
Location: Tamworth Lookout, 14th Aug 2019

Alan Buchan
0438 386 237