Congratulations to Smokefree Rockquest.Smokefree Rockquest logo

Back in 1988 a group people had a dream to promote rock music in schools. They started a competition called Rockquest, and now twenty years later that event has propelled more rock acts onto the national and international stage than any other.

Here’s the evidence: Opshop; Kora; The Black Seeds; Die Die Die; The Have; Goodnight Nurse…

Probably the most well known and internationally successful band is Evermore. The Hume brothers were home-schooled. Because bands need to belong to an educational institution they made up the name of their college, ‘Twin Oaks School’ in Manawatu…and the rest is history.

2008 winners are a Christchurch based metal band called Beneath the Silence – apparently the first time a metal band has taken the top spot. “They beat five other college bands to win a prize pack which includes $10,000 worth of music gear, recording a single to be played on the Edge radio station and $10,000 in New Zealand On Air funding.”

So, congratulations to all the bands that have performed over the last twenty years – it must number in the thousands.

But a bigger congratulations to Pete Rainey and Glenn Commons for having the idea. There has never been a better time in New Zealand to pursue a music career, and a lot of that is thanks to the Smokefree Rockquest.

Here’s a taste of the winning band: