Many of New Zealand’s talented musical youngsters have battled it out over the last few months in more than 20 regions, and the finalists have now been announced.

The judges were The Rockshop Promotions Manager Hamish Jackson, Ruby Frost, Six60’s Chris Mack and Edge TV Station Manager Damien Daniels. 

They have had to make incredibly tough decisions, but here we have it, the top nine acts that have made it through to the finals:


The top six bands are:

Alien Weaponry – Bream Bay College, Otamatea High School, Northland
Courtney Hate – Green Bay High School, Auckland
Joe Says No – Mt Albert Grammar School, Auckland Grammar
The Big Gus – Green Bay High School, Auckland
Reciprocate – Alfriston College, Auckland
Joe’s Van – Mt Maunganui College


And the top three solo/duos are:

Solomon the Crook – St Peter’s School, Cambridge
Ben Mollison – Bethlehem College, Tauranga
Joseph Balfe – Waitaki Boys’ High School


If your favourite act isn’t on the list, don’t worry! There’s still a chance that they will be performing. The People’s Choice allows us fans to vote for our favourite act who were in the top 30, but not in the top 9. Voting open next week, so we suggest getting your phone all charged up, ready to text.

Damien Daniels has high praise for the talented acts: “The real standout was the high level of musicianship from people of this age… and the diversity that there is now in New Zealand music. We may be small but we’re quite eclectic.”

He’s right; the New Zealand music scene is only growing hotter and hotter each day, and Smokefreerockquest has certainly provided a pathway for youngsters to enter the music industry in New Zealand.

We cannot wait to catch the finals, which will be on Friday, September 11 at Epsom Girls’ Grammar in Auckland. Congratulations to all the bands, and solo/duo acts that have made it this far – and good luck.

Follow TEARAWAY on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more updates on Smokefreerockquest, as well as exclusive interviews with the musos.

For more information on the top 30 acts, how to vote, and how to get your tickets for the finals, head to the Smokefreerockquest website or Facebook page.