Smokefreerockquest is made up of many parts in order to find our National Champions. In 2016, the following are the stages you will have to go through to get to the top:

Stage 1

Enter – easy really, click any of the “Enter” buttons on this site and carefully follow the instructions through the online entry form; you have to be in to win! You will need to select your category, either Band or Solo/duo. (See terms and conditions for definitions) Make sure you enter by Monday 9th May.

Stage 2

Regional Final – Every region will have a Regional Final. You must compete in your own region.

Where there are 15 or more entries in a region, there will be a heats process to select the Regional Finalists. For the heats process, which will usually be about 2 weeks prior, one song is to be performed. (In regions where there are 15-25 entries,  the heats process may be held online via video footage to be posted via Youtube.) The top two solo/duos will be announced at the end of the heats process. Both will go on to the Video Selection stage from this point. The Top 12 Bands will go through to the Regional Final, which will start at 7pm. These Bands will have 7 minutes/2 songs to dazzle and amaze their audience and panel of judges. From here, the regional prizewinners are selected. The Top 2 bands and the Peoples Choice winner (and any bands that meet the conditions of Rockshop 2nd Chance) get the chance to move on to the next stage.

In regions where there are less than 15 entries, there will be an afternoon soundcheck at about 3pm, and the event will start at 7pm. Bands will have 7 minutes/2 songs, and Solo/duos will have 4 minutes/1 song (we will be counting, sorry!) to dazzle and amaze their audience and the panel of judges. From here, the prizewinners are selected. The Top 2 bands, and the top two Solo/duos and the Peoples Choice winner get the chance to move on to the next stage.

Stage 3

Video Submission – Acts that place 1st or 2nd in either category (and any bands that meet the conditions of Rockshop 2nd Chance) have the chance to put together a 15 minute performance video. This video is then viewed/assessed and judged by a panel of industry professionals. From this, the Top 30 are announced.

Stage 4

Video Submission (Top 30) – The top 30 from Stage 3 are then re-viewed/re-assessed and re-judged by a new panel of industry heavyweights. From this stage, the National Finalists are chosen (9 bands and solo/duos will be announced).

Stage 5

National Final – The acts chosen to perform at the National Final will have 8 minutes (two songs). This is the time to really give it your all. Along with the wicked prizes up for grabs, the pride of being crowned a National Champion in either Band or solo/duo category is within reach.

Stage 6

The Winners! – Well it’s not really a stage, but there are a few things to do if you win either category – like make a music video, record your song, have a professional photo-shoot, be managed/mentored by New Zealand’s best.

Well, that’s how Smokefreerockquest works. Go out there and Practice, Practice, Practice….Write, Write, Write. It will be worth it. It’s better to be prepared…you’ll have a heap more fun. Remember – if you don’t win it’s not the end of the world, some of the biggest names in New Zealand Music haven’t won Smokefreerockquest, but they have used it as a time and place to learn, develop, and refine their craft and skills. Music will mean different things to different people. Have fun!