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Smokefree Rock Quest News

Smokefree Rock Quest News

It's a tense time for two Nelson bands as they work at making the national finals of the Smokefreerockquest. Brassica from Nelson College and Stiggma from Waimea College are two of the 47 teenage bands from 23 regions right around New Zealand that are in with a chance of hitting the big time.

The last regional final of this year's Smokefreerockquest was held in Wanganui last weekend, finishing a process that started in Dunedin in early May, with a record 624 bands playing off in over 40 heats and finals around the country. The regional winners are now involved in the selection process for the six finalists, mainly judged by video. At stake for the band that goes on to the win the national final in October is a prize of $10,000 worth of music gear, recording time and potentially, recognition by the music industry.

Rockquest Promotions Founders and Directors Glenn Common and Pete Rainey said this year's regional round of concerts had drawn bigger than usual crowds in many centres. "Smokefreerockquest is part of a growing music industry in this country - kids expect to see and hear their own culture reflected on TV and radio and they can see that music is a realistic career path," they said.

"The event offers them the winning mix of seeing their peers playing music they can relate to, in towns that may not have many other teen music events." The 47 regional finalists are now working on videos of their band performing 15 minutes of their own original material. Common said this sorts out the bands with the commitment to make something out of their creative talent.

Twelve bands or soloists will be selected to be recorded for a music compilation that will be released later in the year. The final six bands or soloists will be announced in mid September for the finals in October. This year these will feature on the music and youth culture television channel C4, along with footage from the regional finals.

Other awards made at the finals reinforce the key Smokefreerockquest aim of encouraging students to write and perform their own music. Individual prizes are awarded for best lyrics, best vocals, women's musicianship and the best song. A scholarship to the Tai Poutini contemporary music course is also awarded. This year there are new media awards, The Rip It Up Journalism Award for fledgling music writers and the Tearaway photo award.

The Smokefreerockquest National Finals are at the Bruce Mason Centre on Auckland's North Shore, on October 7th. Visit the Smokefreerockquest website to access more information, band profiles, MP3 files, media releases, story angles and more.


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