The journey towards musical stardom may begin this weekend for a Northland act with the regional heats of Smokefreerockquest and Smokefree Tangata Beats, in Whangārei.

On Sunday, from 12pm, 13, bands and eight solo acts or duos will take part in Smokefreerockquest and another 17 acts will compete in the Smokefree Tangata Beats heat.

Now in its 31st year, the nationwide high school music event is expecting record entries, with events held in 21 regions around the country from Northland to Invercargill.

Smokefreerockquest is run simultaneously with Smokefree Tangata Beats which aims to nurture Pasifika and Māori culture in a contemporary music setting.

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Participants will perform on a professional stage, experiencing a full set-up with lighting, sound, projected backdrop, technical support, a professional guest band, and an MC.

"The creativity, thought and work that goes into preparing a song to present on the day is huge, and goes beyond just musical skill, " said founder and director Glenn Common.
"There is a great sense of pride and achievement to be gained for all the students involved."

Awards for Smokefree Tangata Beats and the solo-duo winners for Smokefreerockquest will be determined after Sunday's heat. The top 12 acts will be selected to play off at the Northland final, on June 11, at Forum North.

Finalists from the regional competitions will play at the Smokefreerockquest national final on September 14, at the Bruce Mason Centre on the North Shore of Auckland.

One of the most successful bands to emerge from a previous competition is Northland's Alien Weaponry, a Tangata Beats winner, which is currently on tour in Europe and making major headway around the world.

The Northland bands performing Smokefreerockquest Northland heats:
Stranger Paradise - Kerikeri High School, Springbank School
SubDeer - Bream Bay College
Wham Bam Thank you Ma'am - Whangārei Girls' High School
Elevated - Mahurangi College, Rodney College
Live Wire - Mahurangi College
The psychedelic goldfish - Whangārei Boys' High School, Whangārei Girls' High School
Bay Dreamer - Bay of Islands College
The Steves - Kerikeri High School
Pahi State of Mind - Otamatea High School
Limerence - Tauraroa Area School
Jeeks - Bream Bay College
Daisynuke - Kamo High School
Open Casket Convention - Bream Bay College
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Solo-duo acts:
North American Smile - Whangārei Girls' High School, Huanui College
Maige - Rodney College
Chris Lawrence - Kerikeri High School
Abbey Collins - Rodney College
Poppy - Kerikeri High School
Nga Tangata Maori Wahine - Bay of Islands College
Dani - Kamo High School
Troy Ramsay - Kerikeri High School

Smokefree Tangata Beats:
Alize - Bay of Islands College
Tiare & Waiwai's - Taipa Area School
Cosmic Natives - Kerikeri High School
K & M - Te Kura Taumata o Panguru
Strachan sisters - Bay of Islands College
The Heke Sister - Mahurangi College
Pearl and Tam - Bay of Islands College
Cece Knowles - Whangaroa College
Ni Myself and I - Te Kura Taumata o Panguru
Waimirirangi Graham-Mackie - Bay of Islands College
The Children of the WopWopz - Bay of Islands College
Nga Toa - Taipa Area School
Radiance - Bay of Islands College
OmniPresent - Kaitaia College, Te Rangi Aniwaniwa
7 up - Bay of Islands College
Ko te taumata - Te Kura Taumata o Panguru
Nga Mareikura - Bay of Islands College