Two Bay of Plenty bands and a solo artist have been named in the top 30 in the 2014 Smokefree Rockquest (SFRQ).
Liquid Sun made up of students from Katikati College and Waihi College, Joe's Van from Mount Maunganui College and Georgia Lines, a solo artist, from Bethlehem College are among the finalists.
700 entries were received nationwide, vying for one of the 30 spots in the national final in Auckland on September 27.
Those 30 bands and solo-duos would be further narrowed down by a panel of judges from the music industry, and the final six bands and three solo-duos to play off in Auckland next month would be announced on August 15.
SFRQ founder and director Glenn Common said selecting the national finalists presented the usual challenge, with a very high level of expertise in all areas of musicality.
"What we see at this level highlights that there's a lot more to Smokefreerockquest than just writing a song," he said. "This event emphasises the whole package - songwriting, performance and presentation, which is realistic preparation for making a career in the music industry."