HIGH above Tamworth, dry land and devastation stretched as far as the eye could see.
It was the first time iconic Australian talent manager Glenn Wheatley saw plainly the affects of drought.
“It was brown as far as I could see and it was an extraordinary sight,” he said.
“I get quite emotional about it, I’ve heard the tragic stories of farmers who can’t afford to pay for their hay – let alone their families.
“I saw the gravity of the problem facing these farmers and I don’t think the message has gotten through.”
As preparations for the Hay Mate: Buy A Bale fundraiser concert headlined by John Farnham continue, Mr Wheatley visited Scully Park with Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson and Wests chief executive Rod Laing.
Farnham will be joined on stage by Daryl Braithwaite, Guy Sebastian, John Stevens, The Veronicas, Andrew Farris, Adam Harvey, Tim Wheatley, Nat Conway and local artist Aleyce Simmonds.
“We want to let these people know we’re there for them, we’re there with them and we’re not going to let them go under,” Mr Wheatley said.
“It’s all about buying hay for their stock and we’ve just got to help them survive and get through this period of time.”
More than 6000 people are expected to swing off the rafters at Scully Park and tickets are still available.
Mr Wheatley revealed there will be collaborations between the big artists on October 27 and MP Kevin Anderson reminded fans to get in quick for tickets.
“While we’re so excited to have Australia’s greatest artists like John Farnham and Daryl Braithwaite here – let’s not forget why they’re here,” Mr Anderson said.
“The reason is because we’re in the worst drought since 1965 and we have families that are struggling to put food on the table.
“It is about supporting our farmers, it is about raising money and it’s making sure they look after those who look after us.”
For tickets, accommodation or free farmers tickets visit haymate.org.au.