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Smokefreerockquest and Smokefree Tangata Beats

Smokefreerockquest and Smokefree Tangata Beats - Nelson-Marlborough heats coming up on Sat May 6

Smokefreerockquest gets underway in Nelson next weekend on Saturday May 6, with Marlborough entrants also competing. To mark this year’s 30th anniversary, the nationwide event will be launched in Parliament by Prime Minister, the Hon Jacinda Adern at a function in the Grand Hall on May 7.

Here in Nelson and Marlborough bands are gearing up for the heats of the two nationwide high school music competitions, Smokefreerockquest and Smokefree Tangata Beats, with finding a name among their many challenges. Odd Socks and Shut Up Connor feature among the bands to play off at the Theatre Royal in Nelsonon Saturday (May 6) starting at 1pm,

This year an expected 3000 young people will go through regional heats and finals in 24 towns from Invercargill to Whangarei as they compete in Smokefreerockquest and Smokefree Tangata Beats (formerly Pacifica Beats) which showcases Pacifica and Maori culture in a contemporary music setting.

Founder and Director Glenn Common says over the past 30 years there has been tremendous support from schools, who value the framework these events create for their students to strive for success, express themselves and gain NCEA credits.

“This is often mentioned as the motivator that keeps kids engaged in the school system. Teachers can see the benefits that being in a band brings - kids learn to cooperate, to negotiate around their differences, to express their thoughts and emotions in words, to front up on time, to promote themselves and their ideals. And performing live on stage is a great boost in confidence – it requires a lot of skills that are not just musical.”

SFRQ founder & director Pete Rainey says Smokefree has been supporting young Kiwis to showcase their music almost from day one, and is closely aligned with the events.

“We all want to encourage kids to look after themselves and their mates by engaging with music and the benefits that brings,” he said. “It’s great to stage events that recognise that today’s musicians and artists will play a huge role in shaping New Zealand’s future - with the goal of Smokefree 2025.”

The Nelson bands performing on Saturday are:
Acoustic Knot Waimea College
Bak2Bak Waimea College
Blind Eye Waimea College
Elysian Waimea College
Equinox Nelson College For Girls
Evolution Nayland College
Infinity Nelson College For Girls
Oblivion Waimea College
Odd Socks Nelson College For Girls
Solasta Nelson College For Girls
Sub52 Waimea College
SvS Waimea College
The Riff Waimea College
The Unreliables Waimea College
verbatim Waimea College

And the solo-duos are:
Bella Shand Motueka High School
Brooklyn Scott Garin College
Chloe Vitale Marlborough Girls' College
Theo Feint Golden Bay High School
Three's a Crowd Nayland College
Jess and Tagan Motueka High School
Krystal Hollis Waimea College
Libby McDonald Marlborough Girls' College
Mia Waimea Intermediate

First and second in the solo/duo and the winner of the Tangata Beats award will be named at the heats, and the top 12 bands will be selected to play off at the Nelson-Marlborough final at the Theatre Royal, Friday May 18, start time 7pm, tickets $10 for school students and $20 for adults from Ticket Direct or at the door.

Changes this year include senior students being able to play two songs at the heats to fulfill their NCEA requirements; and more technology allowed by performers in the solo-duo section.

The live events run from May 5 until July 6, with the top regional bands and solo/duos submitting footage for selection as finalists to play at the Smokefree Tangata Beats national final on Friday September 21 at the Dorothy Winstone Centre in Auckland, followed by the Smokefreerockquest national final on Saturday September 22.

Smokefreerockquest, powered by Rockshop, has national winners’ prize packages for bands and solo/duo winners that includes $22,000 in Rockshop vouchers, $16,000 NZ On Air recording, video and promo package, a photo shoot and branding package from Imaginary Friends. There is also the Musicianship Award, the APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association) Lyric Award, Best Song Award, Smokefree Vocals Award, Fatboy Style Award, and the People’s Choice.

Musical successes from Smokefreerockquest over its 30-year history include Broods, Leroy Clampitt, Kimbra, Aaradhna, Opshop, Evermore, Ladyhawke, Kids of 88, Die!Die!Die!, Joel Little, Tiny Ruins, Marlon Williams, Brooke Fraser, Anika Moa, Chelsea Jade, Nadia Reid, Aldous Harding, Steriogram, Phoenix Foundation, Devilskin, The Black Seeds, Bic Runga, and The Naked and Famous. Smokefree Tangata Beats standout successes include Alien Weaponry, Strangely Arousing Nesian Mystik, the only New Zealand band to ever have ten singles all certified gold or platinum.


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