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Twelve high school bands from Kawakawa, Kaitaia and Kerikeri went head-to-head in Friday night's Be Free Battle of the Bands, won after a tight contest by high-octane, head-banging Anon made up of students from Kerikeri High and Springbank schools.
This year's event, which is organised by music and lifeskills mentoring programme Be Free, stood out for the high number of Kaitaia entries and because it was held in the main auditorium at the Turner Centre for the first time.
Second place went to Radiance (Bay of Islands College), third to Jinx (Kerikeri High/Springbank) and people's choice to 6th Century (Kerikeri High).
The musicianship award was won by Anon bass player Jack French while the vocals prize was shared by the singers of Kerikeri band The Sparrows (Sofia-Antoinette Mikhailiadis, Kirsten Clark, Nikita Bennett) after they overcome technical gremlins.