2020 Smokefreerockquest kicks off!

Monday 13 July 2020

Entries for the 2020 Smokefreerockquest band category are now open for video submissions. Smokefreerockquest is New Zealand’s only nationwide, live, original music, youth event. Now in its 32nd year, the series of over 40 events reaches audience numbers more than 10,000 every year.

The smokefreerockquest is known to nurture some of New Zealand's best kiwi musicians like Broods, Alien Weaponry, Marlon Willams, and even Tauragna's own, Georgia Lines.

Bands and solo/duos are required to record their songs and submit them via the Smokefreerockquest website. They will be viewed and assessed along with the other videos from each region. A live National final is currently being planned for each of the competitions and is looking to be held in September.

Alex Jenkin, a Tauranga local, is a seasoned performer. He's competed many times at the Smokefreerockquest throughout the years while attending Tauranga Boys' College.

"My band started through a bunch of mates who met through music class, jamming over a joint love of music. We named our band 'Sonos.' Our first Smokefreerockquest was in Year 11 2017. We performed and had the time of our lives, and the skill level of the older bands we saw inspired us." Throughout the next three years, Alex’s band went through many phases. Starting with rock, blues, and jazz, they ended up combining their styles, resulting in a new band called, 'Drop Dee.'

Alex's band, Drop Dee at the 2019 Smokefreerockquest


“When the 2019 regional heats came for the Smokefreerockquest, we had a song we were in love with, and the crowd could tell when we played. After we made it through heats, we were told to fill a 7 minute set at the finals. Because of the fun we had making songs, we decided to make two completely new songs. The final was as emotional as it was fun. We played our hearts out, and the crowd loved throwing their heads around as we performed the last set of the night.”

Unfortunately, Drop Dee did not place in the top 2 and thus did not progress to the national final. Yet, Alex and his band didn’t care, “We knew how well we played and how proud we were of ourselves. That was the last time we played together. The Smokefreerockquest was the only environment where young people like us could express and grow our passion for making music. For this reason, Smokefreerockquest is something that all musicians should experience in college.”

“If it wasn’t for Smokefreerockquest, I am sure I would no longer be making and playing music. Because of the experiences I had, I now use music as my escape from University and adult life.”

Smokefreerockquest has national winners’ prize packages for bands and solo/duo winners that includes $22,000 in Rockshop vouchers, $16,000 NZ On Air recording, video and promo package, a photo shoot and branding package from Imaginary Friends.

If you and your band think you've got what it takes, you've got till the 24th of July to get your video submissions in. Head to smokefreerockquest.co.nz for more of the details.