An enthusiastic, capacity crowd raised the rafters at the 46th annual Gold Guitar Awards in Gore on Sunday night.

In keeping with past years, visitors from around the world - including United States ambassador to New Zealand Scott Brown - were regaled with a smorgasbord of top-notch country talent.

The senior awards brought to a conclusion a six-day festival of country music that attracted its second highest number of entries this year, at 736.

Convener Philip Geary said that was a reflection of the increasingly high regard in which the awards were held.


"Gore is at the heart of country music in New Zealand, and the Gold Guitars are its premier awards event. We're very pleased with the way it's all gone this year."

High entry numbers had caused a few "minor" logistical problems, but earlier-than-usual, 8am starts for auditions in many classes had kept things running on time, he said.

Quantity had been matched by quality throughout.

"What's remarkable is how the overall calibre of entrants just keeps improving year on year. I think audiences were particularly impressed with Saturday's junior and intermediate finalists, which is great news for the future of New Zealand country."

A panel of nine judges also had their work cut out to pick senior winners at the Gore Town & Country Club Stadium last night, Geary said.

Competitors had every incentive to pull out all the stops, as 2017 Gold Guitar winner Jenny Mitchell emerged a victorious Tui winner at this year's Gore-hosted New Zealand Country Music Awards on Thursday.

"We've watched Jenny come through from the juniors at 5 or 6, to her success at the highest level this week. She's a great ambassador for country music in New Zealand. We're very proud of her."

Gold Guitars intermediate overall winner was Ocean Waitokia (16), of Ashburton; junior overall winner was Caleb Croy (12), of Mosgiel.


Senior results
Senior Overall Winner - Jaydin Shingleton (Westport)

Senior Overall Winner Runner Up
• Liv Cochrane (Invercargill)

Highest Achieving Gore Country Music Club Member
• Lana Stevens (Riversdale)

• Jaydin Shingleton (Westport)

Country Rock
• Jaydin Shingleton (Westport)

• Ainslie & Jaydin (Porirua)

• Nick Brightwell (Auckland)

• Valley Bluegrass (Dunedin)

NZ Song
• Liv Cochrane (Invercargill)

Open Band
• Harmony Hunters (Nelson)

Open Vocal Group
• Route 66 (Nelson)

Open New Country
• Jenny Harraway (Gore)

Open Singer/Songwriter
• Jaydin Shingleton (Westport)

Female Vocal Solo
• Emma Wollum (Auckland)

Male Vocal Solo
• Jaydin Shingleton (Westport)