FANS of new talent will notice a few changes to the 2017 Toyota Star Maker event with the announcement of the ten grand finalists today.
Ten of Australia’s top emerging talent will vie for the honour of becoming the 38th Toyota Star Maker in a winner-takes-all, event in Toyota Park, in the leafy heart of Tamworth in January. The event has traditionally been the main feature of the first festival weekend, but this concert on Sunday, January 22, aims to make it an even more significant occasion.
For the very first time in Star Maker history, the event will be free, with all 10 finalists being judged on the night, with one winner emerging. The winner will receive a prize package which includes a new Toyota motor vehicle, an unlimited fuel card for 12 months to transport them around the country, plus guaranteed performances at major festivals and events throughout Australia.
The 2017 Toyota Star Maker finalists, chosen from across the country, are:
1 Andrew Swift, Berwick Vic
2 Angus Gill, Wauchope NSW
3 Brook Chivell, Labrador Qld
4 Cassidy Rae Gaiter, Flagstaff Hill SA
5 Jade Holland, Balgal Beach Qld
6 Liam Kennedy-Clark, Sippy Downs Qld
7 Meg Doherty, Pakenham Vic
8 Megan Sidwell, Melbourne Vic
9 Michelle Plozza, Kingston Qld
10 Rachael Fahim, Cherrybrook NSW
Darren Coggan returns as the esteemed compere on the Sunday night and there will also be a performance by outgoing Toyota Star Maker 2016 Karin Page, along with Jared Porter (2014) and Brendon Walmsley (1999).
Previous winners of Star Maker alumni include Lee Kernaghan, Keith Urban, Beccy Cole, James Blundell, Darren Coggan, Travis Collins, Gina Jeffreys, Samantha McClymont, Kirsty Lee Akers, Kaylee Bell and Karin Page who won in January this year, 2016.
Toyota Star Maker co-ordinator Cheryl Byrnes said she was delighted with the standard of performers applying for Toyota Star Maker 2017.
“Toyota Star Maker is a fabulous opportunity and it truly is getting harder to judge each year as entrants raise the bar,” she said. “It’s a great platform and gives the finalists and the winner a jumpstart in their careers. For the winner, the title also brings exposure to invaluable contacts in the industry and a variety of exciting challenges.”
Toyota Australia sales and marketing executive director Tony Cramb was thrilled with the exciting changes to this long-established quest.
“It’s a wonderful thing that Star Maker will now be so much more accessible to a worldwide audience, through live-streaming in the park, and an absolutely free event for the public,” Mr Cramb said. “Toyota is very proud of its long association with this prestigious quest and we offer our hearty congratulations to the 2017 finalists. We wish each and every finalist the very best on the night. It is a pleasure and a privilege to play a role in launching another new career onto the Australian country music scene.”