Rock, pop, hip-hop, dance and country. Never, ever forget country.

It’s boom time for county music, which has enjoyed a bountiful 20 years, is in “robust health,” generates “sustained growth” and totally deserves its place at the table of Australia’s leading genres, a new report has found.

According to the new, 201-page study ‘The Economic and Cultural Value of Country Music in Australia 2018,’ published today, country is by no means existing on the fringes.

In the years since 1997, the sector in Australia has doubled in value to a “conservative” sum of $574 million, powered by streaming platforms and radio support, music festivals and our abundant crop of international stars, from Keith Urban to Kasey Chambers, Morgan Evans and many more.

kasey chambers bluesfest
ARIA Hall of Famer Kasey Chambers at Bluesfest

The country music “census” was compiled by Dobe Newton, a board member of the Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA), based on nine months of research from September 2018, during which time 4,329 country music fans and 582 artists took part.

“Their willingness to be involved, matched by that of major businesses and organisations in our sector, is indicative of the passion we all have for country music”, Newton explained. The study was the “most comprehensive sampling of a single genre ever undertaken” in Australia, notes Newton, who also orchestrated the Melbourne Live Music Census projects of 2012 and 2017.