Gore abuzz . . . New Zealand Country Music Festival Trust chairman Jeff Rea is looking forward to seeing the town fill with people for the Tussock Country Music Festival PHOTO: ENSIGN FILES

People are urged to make their Tussock Country Music Festival plans now as tickets are being snapped up by tourists.

Festival marketing contractor Annabel Roy said more than a quarter of tickets to festival events had sold since sales opened 12 days ago.

“They’re doing very well. They’ve certainly passed our expectations,” Ms Roy said.

“It’s a fantastic result so far.”

Events such as the New Zealand Country Music Awards, Marian Burns & Triple Shot, and Old Hokonui Whiskey & Food Match Event were selling especially well.

More than half the tickets to the Old Hokonui event had sold already, she said.

“It’s only limited to 100 tickets. If anybody wants to go to that one they better be in quick.”

The festival would be held from May 29 to June 6, and people were coming from throughout the country to attend.

Many early ticket-buyers were domestic tourists.

“What we’re worried about is our very loyal Gore and Southland ticket buyers, who have been ticket buyers for years, we don’t want them to miss out.”

These people were “really behind the event,” she said.

“We do also have a few tour groups coming this year, so they’ve gone and bought tickets in bulk for their tours.”

Two or three tours were arranged, and there was the possibility of more.

“This is a nine-day event, so it’s certainly worth them investing to come down from Auckland or Wellington.”

Festival Trust chairman Jeff Rea said people were keen to explore their own country while going overseas was not an option.

“I’d encourage locals to get tickets before they miss out.”

He did not want to scaremonger but this was “just a reality”, he said.

“I’m looking forward to [the festival] happening .. and seeing Gore abuzz.”