Rotorua has always played a significant part in celebrating New Zealand Music Month each May, and despite Covid-19 restrictions, this year is no different.

The programme will be a little different, but there will still be a range of live music from local and national artists for people to enjoy in the comfort of their own home.

This year, on New Zealand Music Month's 20th anniversary, Rotorua is launching Te Manu Tito Waiata Rotorua Song Writing Competition with a prize of $1000.

Aimed at local musicians, songwriters, composers and lyricists, this competition aims to inspire local artists to get creative.

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Rotorua Lakes Council performing arts director Cian Elyse White is looking forward to seeing what the local community create.

"This is an exciting initiative that adds another level of support for local artists to share their unique talents with the wider community.

"There are some incredibly creative people in the Rotorua Performing Arts sector, and I look forward to further celebrating the skills of our composers and songwriters," says White.

'Te Manu Tito Waiata' refers to the birds of the forest that sing the sweetest songs and tell melodious tales.

To sing a sweet song though, one must write beautiful lyrics and Rotorua is well known for its talented performers.

Entries must be in by Monday, May 25 through the entry form on the @RotoruaEvents Facebook page.

Writers must be a resident in the Rotorua District and the lyrics must be original and suitable for a family audience. Full terms and conditions are available in the entry form.

Each Friday in May people can be inspired by local musicians who will be performing live on the @RotoruaEvents Facebook page.

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Last Friday Ben Wilcock kicked off NZ Music Month with the official launch of his new album Goodnight TV, which was viewed nearly 2500 times.

This Friday, 8pm, local singer-songwriter, producer and live performer Rob Howard will entertain people in the comfort of their bubble.

Howard plays acoustic guitar and uses a RC30 to do live loops, performing a set list of covers and original songs.

Starting his music career busking on the streets of Rotorua and playing at the Rotorua Night Market, he has featured on X Factor NZ and The Voice Australia.

He has also played at a range of festivals including the Seafood Festival and GLO Festival.

Check back in every Friday in May at 8pm for a live local performance, at @RotoruaEvents Facebook page.

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