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Robbie Rocks: Here’s Your Chance to be a Rock Star!

Here’s Your Chance to be a Rock Star!

Dunedin (Tuesday, 10 December 2013) – If you’re a musician and can blend old and new, here’s an opportunity for you.

The Robbie Rocks Dunedin 2014 competition, organised by Toitū Otago Settlers Museum, gives musicians the chance to win prizes and possibly perform in Scotland.

Inspired by well-known Scottish poet and songwriter Robert Burns, affectionately known as Robbie Burns, the competition sets an interesting challenge. Entrants choose one of a selection of six Robbie Burns’ songs and reinterpret it for a modern audience.

Museum Curator Seán Brosnahan says, “The Burns statue in the Octagon is a Dunedin icon but how many young Dunedinites actually know who he was? This competition throws the spotlight on Robbie as a musical genius, an 18th-century celebrity who would have been a rock star if he was alive today. We want to hear some of his classic songs rejuvenated and rocking out over the Octagon on 25 January which is Robbie’s birthday.

“We’re looking for originality, style, verve and respect for Robbie Burns’ vision.”

Robbie Rocks Dunedin has two categories – a Youth Section which is open to any performer/band whose members all attended school in 2013, and an Open Section for everyone else. Entrants must be available to perform in the Octagon on Saturday, 25 January 2014 and at a Burns Night event that evening.

The judges are Liam McIlvanney (University of Otago Professor of Scottish Studies), Mike Moroney (New Edinburgh Folk Club President) and David Kilgour (from bands The Clean, The Great Unwashed and The Heavy 8s).

There are prizes worth more than $5000 in total, including vouchers from Twang Town and recording time in the Albany Street Studio. Mr Brosnahan says for “an amazing winning entry”, there might even be a trip to perform in Scotland, subject to sponsorship arrangements.

Entries close on Friday, 20 December at 4pm and finalists will be announced on Friday, 10 January. Finalists in each category will give a live performance in the upper Octagon on Saturday, 25 January from 2pm. The winners will be announced at the end of this event.

There will also be a People’s Choice Award. Videos of the finalists in each category will be uploaded to the Toitū OSM website on 10 January and members of the public can vote online. People can only vote once and must supply a valid email address or contact phone number. Voting for the People’s Choice Award closes on Friday, 24 January and the winner will also be announced at the conclusion of the live performance the following day.

For competition details, visit


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