Country artists to take to the stage at awards

Last year’s senior overall title winner Casey Dixon will be performing at Sunday’s finals night...
Last year’s senior overall title winner Casey Dixon will be performing at Sunday’s finals night show as Country Music Dunedin Awards judges deliberate.PHOTO: SIMON HENDERSON
It will be a weekend of sound as the 2021 Country Music Dunedin Awards start tomorrow at the Wingatui Function Centre.

Awards president Sharyn Anderton said it had been touch and go but the fourth year of the awards was able to take place with some adjustments to accommodate Covid-19 Alert Level 2.

Finals night tickets had had to be reduced to allow for social distancing, and the Sunday night show was already sold out, Mrs Anderton said.

‘‘Through the weekend we are just going to have to monitor the amount of people in the venue.’’

Masks and social distancing would be required, she said.

However, there were still three days of entertainment to enjoy as singers of all ages, from tiny tots (under 8 years old) to the 40-plus category, performed with the backing of house band Saddle Sore, comprising musicians Andy Gilmour, Peter Kesha, Phil Doublet, Aaron Ives, Peter Cairns and Anton Harris.

‘‘They are just high, high quality,’’ Mrs Anderton said.

Groups, duets and solo performers would be singing country rock, gospel and a vintage category of country songs from before 1970.

Judges are Kelvin Cumming, Mary-Ann Reid and Richard Stringer, and last year’s senior overall title winner Casey Dixon would perform at Sunday’s finals night show.

Mrs Anderton thanked all the sponsors who had continued to support the event despite the challenges of Covid-19.

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