Voice of Real Australia is a regular newsletter from Australian Community Media, which has journalists in every state and territory. Sign up here to get it by email, or here to forward it to a friend. Today's newsletter is written by Western NSW regional journalist Nadine Morton.
When it comes to big music acts, you don't get much bigger than Sir Elton John.
Overnight the man himself played the biggest concert Bathurst has ever seen - a staggering 20,000 fans packed into the city's rugby league oval to catch the spectacle.
The music legend is known for being on time and he did not disappoint - he walked onto the stage at 7.59pm waved, bowed and then sat down at his Yamaha grand piano to start playing at precisely 8pm.
His first words to the crowd: 'I never thought I'd say this, but good evening Bathurst!'
From there he opened the show with Bennie and the Jets from his 1973 album Yellow Brick Road.
The crowd stood and roared.
The legend was dressed in a white shirt, black suit and tails with the jacket featuring more glistening diamantes than you'd see a school dance recital. See all the photos here.
Fans had come from as far away as the Northern Territory, Sydney and right across the Central West and they ranged in age from grandmothers to kids who finally grew tired during the three-hour show and rested their heads on their parent's shoulder.
Not only does Elton have decades of memorable hits, costumes and crazy glasses - but the 72-year-old still has the power to get thousands of people up dancing and numerous standing ovations.
But Bathurst is by no means the only regional destination attracting some massive names in the music biz.
The Tamworth Country Music Festival is well underway with 700 performers entertaining the crowds at 2800 events held across 10 days.
While the man behind much of INXS' music, Andrew Farriss, kicked off his first solo project in regional Australia as well.
Love good Aussie rock? There's absolutely no need to head to the cities, just take a look at another NSW Central West centre - Orange.
Coming up next week is Cold Chisel's sold out Blood Moon Tour at a Day on the Green at Heifer Station Wines.
The well-known concert series was moved from Mudgee to Orange this year.
Coming full circle back to Bathurst, it's not only Elton John who is keen to entertain, with the annual Inland Sea of Sound music festival coming up at Mount Panorama on February 28 and 29.
The massive festival will be headlined this year by Missy Higgins and will also feature Killing Heidi, Mama Kin Spender, Thando, Timberwolf, Owen Campbell and a host of other acts.
When asked what fans can expect at the show, Killing Heidi's Ella Hooper told the Western Advocate.
"Expect a sh*t hot band providing a show full of fun, energy and familiarity," she said.
Exhausted? Me too. And this is just a glimpse of the amazing music acts in one little corner of regional Australia.
So if you want to know how you can help support drought-affected farmers and communities and bring money into bushfire affected regions - check out regional Australia for some damn good music.
Western NSW regional journalist, Australian Community Media
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