Partridge off to Tamworth

Dunedin country music singer Melissa Partridge prepares to perform at the Tamworth Country Music...
Dunedin country music singer Melissa Partridge prepares to perform at the Tamworth Country Music Festival in Australia later this week. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
The road has been long, dusty and potted with obstacles, but singer Melissa Partridge has made her way back to the top echelons of the country music scene after being selected to perform at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.

The 36-year-old Dunedin singer was well known in New Zealand and Australian country music competition circles early in her career, but a decade ago she took time out from the scene to prioritise raising her young family.

She tentatively returned to country singing in 2021 when she competed in the New Zealand Gold Guitar Awards, in Gore.

Much to her surprise, she won and found herself with an invitation to sing in one of the southern hemisphere’s largest country music festivals.

She was meant to sing at the 10-day Tamworth festival last year, but Covid-19 forced organisers to postpone it.

So after such a long wait to return, she is excited to be back at this year’s festival, which will be held January 13-22.

It is Australia’s largest and longest-running country music festival, attracting more than 50,000 people and some of the top country music acts from around the world.

"It’s pretty full-on."

She said she had performed at the festival several times before, but this would be her first time back in more than a decade.

"There are some of the top country musicians from around the world there.

"It’s pretty amazing. There’s so much talent in all types of country music.

"I’m looking forward to going back and soaking it all in."

She would perform six concerts at the festival.

"It’s an amazing opportunity to go there and perform.

"That way you get to meet other musicians, which can create other opportunities to perform with [them] in other countries."

She planned to record an upcoming single at Red Engine Recording Studio, in Brisbane.

"I’m looking forward to that too."