Bucket-list festival experience ticked off

Global ... Beverly Gibson has travelled from Hamilton in Montana, USA to attend the Tussock Country Music Festival. PHOTO: BEN ANDREWS

Montana woman Beverly Gibson has ticked off another item on her bucket list.

Since 2020, attending the Bayleys Tussock Country Music Festival has been on Mrs Gibson’s must-do list.

On April 12, she began the 20-hour journey from Hamilton, Montana in the United States to Gore to attend the festival.

For years she had cared for her mother and had been unable to travel due to the commitment, Mrs Gibson said.

Her mother died in 2020 and she then began to plan a trip.

‘‘This is a treat to me for having done that.’’

When she decided to travel to New Zealand she knew she wanted to go to the event.

The country music festival would be perfect, she said.

‘‘It sounded really fun and it wasn’t in a huge city, which I like.’’

It was impressive how much the community participated in the festival, she said.

‘‘It’s just wonderful to see.’’

She performed at the open mic afternoon and was then invited to perform in the walk-up concert the next day.

‘‘I could count my minutes from [both] events and I could have my 15 minutes of fame.

‘‘That was a late entry to the bucket list.’’

She sang two songs on stage.

‘‘It turned out to be so much fun. Everybody was so gracious and welcoming.’’

Back home in Hamilton, she played in jam sessions at a nursing home.

She played a lot of music including bluegrass, which was a personal favourite of hers, she said.

Her Blenheim-based cousin Laurel Rockliff joined her and they attended many of the events together.

When the festival ended on Sunday, Mrs Gibson and her cousin travelled to Oamaru.

The pair loved steampunk and wanted to explore that, she said.

Mrs Gibson will return to Montana next month.