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Buskers battle it out to open for Blues and Roots Festival

Buskers battle it out to open for Queenstown Blues and Roots Festival

King Leo will entertain the crowds with this authentic Blues sound

It’s a ‘battle of the buskers’ this coming Easter Saturday (19 April 2014) as some of Queenstown’s finest musicians compete for the opportunity of a lifetime – to perform as the opening act at the Queenstown Blues & Roots Festival.

The inaugural one-day outdoor music festival will be held on Saturday 26 April over Anzac Weekend at the Queenstown Events Centre – featuring world-class performers The Doobie Brothers, Elvis Costello & The Imposters, The Black Seeds, Fly My Pretties, The Johnnys and King Leo.

Popular Queenstown pub the Pig & Whistle will host the busking competition finals, kicking off at 7pm and featuring all original music from the six finalists.

Queenstown Blues & Roots Festival director Grant Hilton said all the contestants were “extremely talented” and competition would be tough.

“Our judges had a hard time picking the finalists for Saturday night because the standard from the 13 bands and individual musicians which entered was so high,” he said.

The six finalists were selected after two performance rounds in the past fortnight.

“There’s a really good blues and roots feel to all the music they’re delivering and a lot of them are writing their own songs which is fantastic,” said Mr Hilton.

“We’re looking for someone with an interesting sound, original music and a great range. All contestants fit those criteria so finals night should be one to remember.”

The competition will be judged by two expert mystery judges, with the overall winner announced on the night.

“We’re encouraging locals to come along and support the event, which is free entry, and help decide who gets to perform on the big day,” said Mr Hilton.

Among a talented finals line-up is Killer Seas, which only formed late last year and has already made its mark on the local music scene.

Former high school band The Fletchers has already tasted success, coming second two years running in national high school music competition Rockquest.

Freefall, another talented act, started out busking and is now a regular sight at popular Queenstown pubs.

Rounding up the six are solo artists Dafny, Peti Crime and Wolfman Campbell.

The winner will perform on the Blues & Roots main stage at 11am on April 26 as the opening act of the festival which will see up to 15,000 enjoying the very best of blues, soul and rock and roll.

Tickets are available through Queenstown Blues and Roots website www.queenstownbluesrootsfestival.co.nz, by contacting 0800 BLUESQT (0800 2583778) or qtbluesfest@gmail.com.


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