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CokeSmokeFreeRockQuest 2003 Finalists Selected


The announcement recently of the CokeSmokefreeRockquest 2003 national finalists reveals six new sensations in Kiwi music...

The 623 bands entered in this year's record-sized CokeSmokefreeRockquest have been whittled down to a mere six finalists following Friday's judging session of recorded semi-final footage at Auckland's York St Studio.

The following bands will contend the CokeSmokefreeRockquest final - which will feature guests 'Elemeno P' and last year's CokeSmokefreeRockquest winners 'The Have,' on Saturday, October 18 at the Bruce Mason Theatre in North Shore from 8pm;

* 'Falter' - Mairehau High School - Christchurch

* 'Fifth Element'- Hornby, Shirley Boys, and Aranui High Schools - Christchurch

* 'Grannypash' - Sacred Heart Girls College - Waikato

* 'Mission Gizzard' - Dilworth School - Auckland

* 'The Checks' - Takapuna Grammar - North Shore

* 'The Rabble' - Orewa College - North Shore

The latest in raw and unmanufactured local music, these bands will vie for prizes from a total prize pool of over $20,000 in addition to the national title, including a national Lyric Writers' Award, Coke Stage Image Award, Smokefree Best Vocals Award, and Coke Original Song Award.

New Zealand's next international songstress may well also be unveiled via the Smokefree Award for Women's Musicianship, which has in past years been won by both Bic Runga (1993) and Anika Moa (1998).

The New Zealand Music Industry Commission's (NZMIC) Cath Anderson who was one of nine judges says singling out the best of the quest to find New Zealand's most talented young musos is a formidable task.

"I have loved being involved with this event but it's just so hard to select the final few - the quality of both music and stage performance at this level bodes well for the future of New Zealand music and is a credit to the CokeSmokefreeRockquest," she says.

Founder and Director of the fifteen-year-old CokeSmokefreeRockquest Glenn Common says there is a marked improvement from year to year with young musicians now showing a very high level of application, originality, dedication and professionalism.

"One of last year's six finalists didn't make it through to the semi-finals this year, which is indicative of the overall superior standard of bands in this year's competition," he says.

The band partnering project from the Ministry of Education and the NZMIC is one initiative aimed at the ongoing development of New Zealand music contributing to the improved standard of young CokeSmokefreeRockquest contenders.

Aligning the 40 or so CokeSmokefreeRockquest 2003 regional finalists with like-minded professionals for performance mentoring and workshops, the band partnering project has this year involved such high profile musicians as Elemeno P, Evermore, WASH and Anika Moa with the aspiring youngsters.

Region Corporate Affairs Manager at Coca-Cola Oceania Alison Sykora says the calibre of emerging talent is so high is because of the increased exposure of young artists to the reality of the music industry.

"Coke's committed to the growth of New Zealand music and it's a real buzz to be able to provide young musos with real experiences and a genuine platform to develop their careers," she says.

Drawing the six-month long nation-wide event to a close, the CokeSmokefreeRockquest 2003 final is being held at North Shore's Bruce Mason Theatre, with tickets available from Ticketek and through door sales.

The national winners of CokeSmokefreeRockquest 2003 will win The Edge Airplay Award (in association with NZ on Air), which will see the winning band record and produce three songs at York Street Studio in Auckland. A single will be released on The Edge and a music video will be made with the support and promotion of the NZ on Air team. The winners also receive $10,000 in vouchers from The NZ Rockshops and their suppliers.

Second and third place winners will also receive The NZ Rockshops vouchers and have songs recorded and released on The top six bands also have their accommodation and transport to the final paid for by CokeSmokefreeRockquest.

Renowned to be the country's biggest and most influential nation-wide youth event, the CokeSmokefreeRockquest has been named a finalist in the National Business Review's Awards for Sponsorship of the Arts to be held on Wednesday, October 8.


"Coca-Cola" and "Coke" are registered trademarks of The Coca-Cola Company.

About Coca-Cola Coca-Cola is a major supporter of New Zealand music and a sponsor of some of the country's leading music events, including CokeSmokefreeRockquest, Coke Gig Southside (South Auckland's biggest hip-hop event) and Launchpad (a platform for new musicians in association with Space and Rip It Up). Over the airwaves, Coke is behind Mai FM's Coke Rhythm Nation, choosing and recording a new artist each month, and local radio advertisements featuring New Zealand musicians are recorded regularly. Coke is a major backer of NZ music TV shows Space, RTR and Juice TV and local hip-hop favourites, Nesian Mystik were chosen for the soundtrack of the latest Coke brand advertising campaign.

About Smokefree

Smokefree exists to encourage New Zealanders to adopt and maintain healthy attitudes and lifestyles and is a major supporter of key annual youth events at a national level. Events including CokeSmokefreeRockquest, Smokefree Pacifica Beats, STRIKE to schools and the Young Designer Awards are backed by Smokefree, ensuring that the positive Smokefree message reaches young people in their environment. Creating Smokefree social settings aims to demonstrate to young people that smoking is not a necessary element of having a good time with friends.

About CokeSmokefreeRockquest

CokeSmokefreeRockquest is the biggest and most influential nation-wide youth event held in New Zealand, attracting audience numbers in excess of 100,000 every year. Founded by music teachers Glenn Common and Pete Rainey in 1988 (who now run Rockquest Promotions full time out of Nelson), it has become a New Zealand institution. Bands including 'The Datsuns,' 'Anika Moa,' 'Steriogram,' 'Tadpole,' 'the feelers,' 'The Blackseeds,' 'Nesian Mystic,' 'Bic Runga,' 'Fur Patrol,' 'Betchadupa,' 'King Kapisi,' 'Zed' and 'The Have' have all participated in the CokeSmokefreeRockquest during its 16-year history. CokeSmokefreeRockquest aims to motivate young musicians to prove their ability and realise the heights they can reach in their music careers, and encourage their peers to support 100% original New Zealand music. For more information email or see

ANTONIA DAVISON PublicisDRUM 64 9 914 1931 021 301 858

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