The quest for musical stardom will begin for 36 young Northland acts next week when the regional heats of Smokefreerockquest are held in Whangārei.

The heats will feature 36 acts - 14 solo or duo acts, 19 bands and three acts in the Smokefree Tangata Beats section - all competing for a place in the Northland regional final and then a spot in the national final.

Rockquest has been the launching pad for some of NZ's biggest acts, including Bic Runga, Broods, Kimbra, Aaradhna, Opshop, Evermore, Ladyhawke, Die!Die!Die!, Tiny Ruins, Brooke Fraser, Anika Moa and Kora, and the Northland acts will be hoping it will open doors for them too.

The regional heats are at Forum North, Whangārei, from 1pm on May 26, with the regional final, also at Forum North on June 22, from 7pm.


Smokefreerockquest is New Zealand's only nationwide, live, original music, youth event.

Now in its 30th year, the series of more than 40 events reaches audience numbers in excess of 10,000 every year.

Founded in 1989 by music teachers Glenn Common and Pete Rainey, Smokefreerockquest has become a New Zealand institution. It aims to motivate young musicians to prove their ability and realise the heights they can reach in their music careers, and to encourage their peers to support original New Zealand music.

The winners of each category at the regional final will have the chance to compete in the national final, which will be held later in the year.

Acts taking part in the Northland regional heat are:

Solo/Duos, from 1pm: Huia Shortland, from Te Kapehu Whetu - Teina; Uno, Kerikeri High School; Patrick Henderson-Biss, Whangārei Boys' High School; Q, Kerikeri High; Abbey Collins, Rodney College; Dani, Tauraroa Area School; Waima Mcmath, Broadwood Area School; Justyce and Alicia, Northland College; Empty boxes Rodney College; No Credit, Kerikeri High; Savage, Bream Bay College; Drew And Aysha, Rodney College; The Tempts, Kerikeri High and Tasha Perrett, Te Kura Hourua o Whangārei Terenga Paraoa.

Bands, from 2.30pm:
Reflecks, Kerikeri High; Utopian Daydream, Rodney College; Pastie Boys, Tauraroa Area School; Soup of the Day, Rodney College; Live Wire, Mahurangi College; A08, Kamo High School; Wham Bam Thank you Ma'am, Whangārei Girls' High School; Jinx, Springbank School, Kerikeri High; If & When, Bream Bay College; Heavy Steel, Kerikeri High; Ke Lo Ke, Whangārei Girls' high and Pompallier Catholic School; manifest of war, Bream Bay College; Rillet, Broadwood Area School and Te Kura Taumata o Panguru; The Violet Violets, Bream Bay College; 3 Boys, Kerikeri High; UltraViolet Blue, Huanui College; Good Morning Waipapa, Kerikeri High; Elevated, Mahurangi College/Rodney College and Ke Lo Ke, Whangārei Girls'/Pompallier/ Whangārei Boys' High.

Smokefree Tangata Beats, from 5pm:
Savage, Bream Bay College; Tasha Perrett, Te Kura Hourua o Whangārei Terenga Paraoa and Harmonies Divergent, Bay of Islands College.