The Freeze Ya Bits Off Busking event is being organised by the Gore District Council this year.
Council events and promotions co-ordinator Emma Carle said the council was becoming more involved with country music events.
“We are working with the organisers of the Mataura Licensing Trust New Zealand Gold Guitar Awards and the New Zealand Country Music Awards towards a fully co-ordinated festival for 2019,” Ms Carle said.
Ms Carle submitted an application to the MLT for funding to help host the event.
The MLT endorsed a grant of $5000 at its Thursday meeting.
“We see the busking event as integral to the festival, particularly in terms of bringing life to the street,” she said in the application.
The main change was to hold the finals on the street rather than at the Longford Function Centre.
“It is a busking event, after all, and we think the event should live up to its name and be all about embracing the cold.”
The council proposed to close the section of Medway St between Howl at the Moon and The Thomas Green Public House and Dining Room, and set up a stage where finalists would perform.
The council planned to obtain a special licence so alcohol could be served outdoors.
“Food options could include a barbecue and sliders served outside Howl at the Moon, and maybe oysters or similar outside the Thomas Green.”
Ms Carle said there would be heaters on the streets.
It was hoped to involve organisations such as the Hokonui Community Market.
In the past up to 200 people had attended the busking finals. This year’s event had the potential to be much larger, she said.
The finals would be held on June 2, after the truck parade.
Thomas Green manager Roz Taylor said she and the MLT had been working with several parties to make sure more events were held in conjunction with the awards.
She was keen to make sure different entertainment options were provided in the town, including the busking event.
The idea was to grow the event along the lines of the Tamworth Country Music Festival, in New South Wales, she said.