A dozen Northland high school bands will be hoping the road leads to stardom when they take part in the Northland regional final of Smokefreerockquest this weekend.
On Saturday, the young musicians will perform in front of their peers, hoping for a place in the national rockquest final in September in Auckland.
Win the national final - as Whangarei teen rockers Alien Weaponry did last year, and the likes of Bic Runga, Broods, Kimbra, Aaradhna, Opshop, Evermore, Ladyhawke, Die!Die!Die!, Tiny Ruins, Brooke Fraser, Anika Moa and Kora - and musical stardom beckons.
Forum North will be pumping from 7pm on Saturday as the top young bands in Northland play off in the regional final of Smokefreerockquest 2017.
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Smokefreerockquest founder and director Pete Rainey said at this level some entrants are already demonstrating the stand out factor that would see them achieve music career success.
The 12 Northland finalists - H.K.A from Broadwood Area School and Panguru Area School, Weevils from Rodney College, Jinx from Springbank School, Denial from Kerikeri High School, Mad Gravity from Whangarei Girls' High School and Huanui College, The Pastie Boys from Tauraroa Area School, Theoretically Impossible from Kerikeri High School, LIVEWIRE from Mahurangi College, A08 from Kamo High School, Room 44 from Whangarei Girls' High School, Mic's Mates from Huanui College and JKA zzz from Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Tonga o Hokianga - won through after heats in May.
"It's fascinating for us to look back at success stories like Kimbra, Evermore and Broods where we could see the star factor right back at the regional level," Rainey said.
"Saturday night's event gives a new cohort of bands the opportunity to take their obsession with music and develop the organisational and stage craft skills that will help them become another Kiwi music success."
Rainey said in regional cities the Smokefreerockquest final was often the year's biggest youth gig.
The 12 bands will play off for the top two places and other awards at Forum North. The top two bands will send in 15 minutes of video for selection to go into the national finalists judging pool. The guest band on Saturday is Alien Weaponry.