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Inside Toyota's surprising and value-adding fan experience at 2020 Toyota Country Music Festival

When it comes to music Festivals in Australia, it doesn’t get any bigger than the Toyota Country Music Festival, Tamworth.

Held from 17 to 26 January 2020, this year saw more than 50,000 people converge on the country music capital for ten days of great music, family-friendly experiences, unique fan opportunities, and the only industry affiliated country music awards show in Australia. 

Toyota has been a proud partner of the Country Music Festival in Tamworth for 28 years, and this year evolved its partnership program by building upon the hugely successful Toyota Hat Fundraiser and the pioneering four by four-track of previous years by establishing additional activations which included the Hybrid Cavalcade, Hybrid Drive Festival Fan Experience, and the Verandah Series.

The New England North West is commonly referred to as “Landcruiser Country.” However, with growing interest in the benefits of hybrid technology amongst Australians,  Toyota saw an opportunity to use the Festival as a platform to communicate with regional communities about the benefits of hybrid vehicles, which was supported throughout its Festival activations.   

As Toyota Australia’s Chief Marketing Officer Wayne Gabriel explains, “with Toyota leading the  Hybrid vehicle market in Australia, we wanted to showcase the cars’ powerful performance, exceptional fuel efficiency and clever design to the diverse audience that attends The Festival. We also wanted to provide more value-adding experiences wherever we could and build stronger connections with The Festival community.”

Toyota’s partnership activations have always been designed with the audience in mind, and this year was no exception.  Take the Hybrid Drive Festival Fan Experience, which provided selected festival ‘fans’ a unique travel experience within the festival precinct and offered a surprise and delight element with Toyota Ambassadors The McClymonts making guest appearances along the way.

Tom Tanner and Richie Hunt were two lucky Festival goers hand-selected to receive VIP tickets to the Toyota Stars Under the Stars concert plus return transfers in an all-new Toyota Hybrid RAV4 Cruiser.  Their experience got even better when they realised they were being driven by Toyota Ambassadors Sam and Mollie McClymont. 

“Having been a long-time Hilux driver, this experience showed me a vehicle I would never have considered before, and I was truly impressed by it.  Richie and I really appreciated Toyota’s idea to provide this experience, and then to have Sam and Mollie as our drivers was unbelievable,” said Tom. 

In addition to its on-the-ground activations, Toyota’s support of the country music festival extends well beyond ten days in Tamworth, with the annual Toyota Star Maker program which this year crowned Townsville singer-songwriter Sammy White as the winner and the recipient of more than $100,000 in prizes.  The Toyota Busking Championships held at the end of the Festival recognizes and supports grass-roots talent by providing a platform to showcase their talents, and the Toyota Golden Guitar Awards the only industry affiliated country music awards program and the longest-running awards program in Australia. 

The Toyota Country Music Festival, Tamworth, will celebrate a monumental 49 years in 2021 and will run from 14-24 January 2021.  It is a unique and effective way to reach sometimes hard to get to audiences, as Toyota’s activations at the 2020 Festival demonstrate. 

You can see Tom and Richie’s pure surprise during their Hybrid Drive Festival Fan Experience on Toyota’s Facebook channel. 

For further information on the Toyota Country Music Festival, Tamworth visit www.tcmf.com.au 



Sara Crowe, Director, C7EVEN Communications
Publicity Manager, Toyota Country Music Festival 
0438 197 559

Emily Haseloff, Manager Public Affairs 
National Marketing
Toyota Australia
0437 811 508