Smokefreerockquest Finals in Hamilton

( Hamilton youth are in for a treat come this September 11 with news that Smokefreerockquest – New Zealand’s only live, nationwide, youth, original music competition – will hold its national final in the city for the next three years.

This year’s Smokefreerockquest national final will be held at Hamilton’s Founders Theatre on September 11, with the event moving to the Vector-style Claudelands Arena when it is complete ahead of the 2011 and 2012 finals. Claudelands Arena is set to be New Zealand’s newest purpose-built 5000-seat music space.

Right now Smokefreerockquest heats are taking place in 25 regions around the country, with regional finals due to start with Auckland Central on May 25. The 22 year old high school music competition has attracted a record 753 entrants this year, ranging from heavy metal bands to singer songwriters. Over the ten weeks of the competition more than 20,000 young people will turn out to watch their peers perform in venues from Invercargill to Whangarei.

Hamilton city councillor Kay Gregory said hosting the final was an exciting move that made a lot of sense for the city, “Already Hamilton has one of the country’s most youthful demographics (15-24 yrs) and a thriving youth subculture to go with it. Smokefreerockquest puts positive role models in front of these young people and over the last couple of years alone Hamilton has turned out Smokefreerockquest successes Anna Coddington, The Seed and Conor McCabe who recently toured with Cornerstone Roots.

“Bringing events of this calibre to Hamilton is what Claudelands is all about. Smokefreerockquest has spent the past 22 years making kiwi music legends, it is a national institution that has only gone from strength to strength. With 5000-seat arena capacity and purpose-built concert capabilities, Claudelands will be the perfect venue to grow the Smokefreerockquest final into a truly national event,” she said.

Smokefreerockquest director Glenn Common said taking the national final to Hamilton was an exciting move.

“It’s recognition from Hamilton of Smokefreerockquest’s importance in youth culture,” he said. “It is exciting to have the support of a city that is investing in performance infrastructure and in the future of its young people.”

The Smokefreerockquest national final this year will be held at Founders Theatre on September 11, start time 8pm.Eight bands will perform, these are winners of regional finals or the Smokefree People’s Choice that have come through the finals’ selection process based on DVDs.

The event will be filmed for music television channel C4. Prizes at stake include a NZ On Air new recording and music video grant worth $10,000, musical gear to the value of $10,000 from NZ Rockshops, recording time at York St Studio, radio promotional support for a single, the Edge airplay award, with the opportunity to be played on the Edge, video play on youth music channel C4, a place on the NZ On Air Kiwi Hit Disc, a photo shoot sponsored by Schick and a promotional package from Myspace New Zealand. There is also the Mainz Scholarship for outstanding musicianship, The Apra Lyric Award and the Smokefree Women’s Musicianship Award.

To find out more about Smokefreerockquest 2010, visit the official website

Logos and images from last year available on request.

The SFRQ national launch this year will be held on May 13 at the Backbeat Bar in Auckland at 4pm, please respond to this email for media invite to this event.

Media Release 12 May 2010 from Hamilton City Council.
Contact: Glenn Common, Smokefreerockquest Director, Mobile: 021 744 536, Email:
Contact: Pete Rainey, Smokefreerockquest Director, Mobile: 021 747 383, Email: