The music has died for Waikato-based corporate function band The Monroes after all their musical equipment - worth more than $100,000 - was stolen in Hamilton last week.
The gear is at the highest end of professional music equipment - some of it so rare in New Zealand that it would be instantly recognisable if the thieves try to sell it or anyone uses it in public.
A reward of $10,000 has been raised, with the band desperate to honour bookings starting in February as they get back on stage after a tough year all-round for the entertainment industry.
Band member Brad Thomson had put the equipment in storage at Christmas at a professional facility on Te Rapa Straight, Hamilton while he and wife Nicola's home was being used as Airbnb accommodation to supplement their income.
The gear was in a white tandem, custom-made trailer, secured with a wheel lock and a deadbolt.
The thief or thieves cut through a high-security fence from a neighbouring property, under cover of darkness and bad weather early on the morning of Wednesday, January 20.
An alarm was set off at 12.28am and the band are now appealing for any sighting of the trailer being moved about that time or any time since.
Another band member, Layton Lillas, says no one but Brad knew the location of the trailer, or its contents.
"This opportunistic burglary has given the perpetrators a surprise bounty," he says. A full list of the stolen gear is on the band's Facebook page.
With thousands of post shares on Facebook alone, the musician fraternity and friends and family have spread their tentacles far and wide to search for and recover the trailer.
It is a large, plain, white custom-built trailer with the rego K942W. Layton says they have already received a number of calls about similar-looking trailers.
They appreciate the response and are appealing for any information or sightings that will help them recover their equipment.
"This has absolutely devastated us: this equipment is our livelihood which we rely on to feed our families."
Layton says The Monroes do have business insurance and have reported the theft to their insurance company.
The first Covid lockdown last year saw Brad and Nicola's musical diary being cancelled. The family kept smiles on people's faces by releasing a 'Lockdown Rockdown' music video which was widely spread.
Brad's partnership as a concert promoter and theatrical producer with Layton and the company Showcase Entertainment Group, meant the family were able to earn something of a living in 2020 when a cancelled tour of Australia in April - with "Dr Seuss's The Cat in the Hat" was resurrected as the first theatre tour worldwide post-lockdown as it toured New Zealand in August, including Hamilton.
The Monroes' first new gigs were booked by August 2020 but were again cancelled when the country returned to level 3 during the Auckland lockdown.
The band had a busy December with corporate bookings so the music equipment including Brad's long-awaited custom-built DW Collectors Series drum kit was put to good use.
The band again has new bookings, starting in February, if they can get their equipment back.
Nicola is five months pregnant with what will be her second child, having lost her baby "Teddy" to a miscarriage last July.
She was looking forward to performing her final show before taking maternity leave in March.