fOTY – Find Of The Year – it's back!

WiN a brand new guitar and guaranteed spots at TCMF 2020


fOTY is a search for the best original singer songwriters and guitarists across 4 age catergoies, U18, 18-25, 25-40 and over 40s age!  All you have to do is enter online, read the T&C and bring your guitar. The songs must be 100% original (written by you) sorry no covers and no co-writes.


fRETfEST is Australia’s original guitar-based talent quest with a 20 year history.  It’s a bit like The Voice for musicians who write and play their own songs on guitar.  It is open to all musicians of all ages and it is suitable for all genres of original guitar music; pop, folk, rock, country, jazz and blues.

fRETfEST is credited with discovering Pete Murray (sold over 100,000 albums), Kate Miller Heidke (rep'd Australia at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest), Tom Busby (formed the acoustic duo, Busby Marou) and Bobby Flynn (finalist on Australian Idol 2006), Mark Lowndes (finalist on Australia's Got Talent 2012), Jac Stone (finalist on The Voice 2013) as well as Daniel Champagne (from Bega NSW, now tours internationally) and many others who enjoy careers a songwriters and guitarists.


The venue is The Pub in TAMWORTH on Gunnedah Road, Tamworth.  Turn up at 12pm to register and confirm your entry, read and sign the form and prepare to play your song/s.

The Address is Gunnedah Rd, Tamworth, NSW, 2340. 

4 age group categories:

UNDER 18 AGE = FINISHED and congratulations to everyone who passed the audition

18-24 YRS = FINISHED and congratulations to those who passed the audition

24-40 YRS = CURRENTLY UNDREWAY and entries have closed (sorry)

OVER 40’s = ENTER NOW > Click to enter HERE

UNDER 18 AGE AUDITION Left to right:  Phil Weaver (Judge), 11yo Allegra Dunning, 16yo Trinity Woodhouse, Al Buchan, 14yo Lily Bridge, 14yo Hamish Nilsson, Mike Casey (Judge)



CONGRATULATIONS 16yo Trinity Woodhouse, 14yo Hamish Nilsson, 11yo Allegra Dunning, for making it into the Grand Final to be held at Tamworth Country Music Festival, Sat 25th Jan 2020 

18 - 25 AGE

CONGRATULATIONS 25yo Loren Ryan for making it into the Grand Final to be held at Tamworth Country Music Festival, Sat 25th Jan 2020

25 - 40 AGE


HEAT: Sat 19 Oct, 12pm till 4pm*

SEMI: Sat 2 Nov, 12pm till 4pm*


CLICK TO ENTER NOW  ($27.50) or pay on the day ($30)


Amps, plug in, leads and mic all supplied for your audition

NOTE. Auditions are private, not a live public performance.

AUDITION: Sat 16 Nov, 12pm till 4pm*

HEAT: Sat 30 Nov, 12pm till 4pm*

SEMI: Sat 14 Dec, 12pm till 4pm*

* Start and finish times may vary slightly due to number of entries we receive.



4 Tanglewood Guitars * (shown above). L-R displayed: The stunning copper-top TE3CP Stiletto electric! The exotic TWDBTSFCEAEB with Ebony top, back & sides! The Crossroads TWCROE Orchestra! The solid topped TWUSFCE Union Superfolk!

All finalists will get to perform live at the 2020 Tamworth Country Music Fgestival on the FANZONE STAGE * (dates & times to be confirmed).

* All guitars come with built-in tuner, a strap, a guitar stand and in a case! 

Like us at to get notifications!


  • fRETfEST was first held in 1997 at a small pub in Brisbane and by 1999 we were showcasing PETE MURRAY who hailed from Chinchilla in Queensland and he went on to sign with Sony/BMG and sold over 100,000 albums!
  • In the years that followed, KATE MILLER-HEIDKE took part as did TOM BUSBY from Busby Marou, BOBBY FLYNN went on to star in Australian Idol, MARK LOWNDES went on to star on Australia’s Got Talent and JAC STONE went on to star in The Voice!
  • In 2008 fRETfEST first showcased the young virtuoso guitarist from Bega NSW named DANIEL CHAMPAGNE who now lives in Nashville from where he travels the world performing his unique two-handed guitar style!
  • In 2014 we started our music mentorship program and, our first graduate, ASHA JEFFERIES went on to enjoy rotation on Triple J and RAGE and she has just completed her first solo tour of Australia!
  • Our next graduate, KODY BRIMS, was subsequently accepted into the prestigious BERKLEE MUSIC COLLEGE in Boston USA where she graduated and now performs internationally!
  • Over the years, fRETfEST has given away some astoundingly good guitars including a $2,500 Ovation Elite Plus Celebrity Trans Blue Quilt Maple stage guitar with OP-4BT pickup and built-in tuner, a $2,300 Fender Ensenada ESCA10CE acoustic guitar with Fishman's Ellipse VT pickup, a $1700 Maton SRS60C acoustic guitar with and AP5 pickup, solid spruce top and Queensland Maple back & sides and an $1800 Cole Clark Angel, AN1E-BM with 3way pickup system, Bunya top and Queensland maple back & sides!
  • In 2015 we launched the Regional Song Contest and relocated to Tamworth from where have re-established our base and have continued showcasing new talent in partnership with the Tamworth Country Music Festival
  • In 2016, 2017 and 2018, we gave away Tanglewood Guitars with thanks to NATIONAL MUSIC in Brisbane and this year, in 2019, we will be giving away 4 Tanglewood guitars, showcasing their range!

Thank you