Local musician wins top award

Cream of the crop: Former Terang musician Rhys Crimmin received the award for the best busker at this year’s Tamworth Country Music Festival on the weekend. Photo courtesy Tamworth Country Music Festival

FORMER Terang musician Rhys Crimmin was still riding high after an “amazing” experience at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, which saw him take out the top prize in the buskers’ competition.

In his third year performing at the festival, the one-man show involving a range of instruments including guitar and harmonica rose above about 400 buskers playing for the top prize.

Mr Crimmin said he had been honing his musical skills from when he was growing up in Terang, but had always kept on the move performing on streets across the globe.

“I’ve been travelling the world busking and playing gigs and festivals for 14 years,” he said.

“Street performing is what I love the most.”

Throughout the ten day festival, which stretched from Thursday, January 17 to Saturday, January 26, Mr Crimmin braved a number of 40-plus days but never went a day without hitting the streets.

He said he often attracted crowds of up to 200 people during his shows, which often stretched from 9am until midnight.

“I went from one of the worst spots in town to one of the best spots,” Mr Crimmin said.

Impressing the judges enough to qualify for the final, his 10-minute performance defeated the nine other finalists.

“To win was a massive award,” Mr Crimmin said.

He received $3000 in cash, the opportunity to play two dedicated shows at the Tamworth Hotel and a further two shows on the main stage at next year’s festival.

Mr Crimmin said he loved playing songs joining country and Celtic music with an Australiana twist.

“I just love street performing,” he said.

“It’s just a real buzz.

“You don’t know who is going to come past. Nobody has to stop for you.”

Mr Crimmin said he aimed to travel to Scotland for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August, as well as perform in Ireland and Germany.

“I just chase the sun,” he said.

“I’m hoping it (the award) will open more doors around Australia and hopefully the world.”

To view the livestream of Mr Crimmin’s performance, visit the ‘Tamworth Country Music Festival’ Facebook page.

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