Rockquest may be cancelled

SVEN HERSELMAN
Last updated 12:05 02/06/2014
Clara van Wel

DISAPPOINTED: Former Rockquest solo winner Clara van Wel, who won New Zealand's Got Talent in 2012, said it would be disappointing if the Rockquest didn't happen in Marlborough. She found it to be a great stepping stone in her career and a good place to trial her songs.

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The Marlborough leg of the Smokefree Rockquest might not happen this year due to the low numbers of entries, organisers say.

The annual music contest featuring young up-and-coming musicians was hugely popular in the region last year, drawing a strong lineup of entries and a 300-strong crowd.

However, this year few entries had been received.

Smokefree Rockquest national events manager Dan Kendrick said more entries were needed in both the band and solo-duo categories to warrant running the event.

"It might not go ahead as it is. We would love to see more entries to justify holding the event," he said.

Marlborough musicians wanting a chance to make the national finals could travel to another region to compete, however scheduling made that option problematic. The Nelson preliminary round was held on May 16 and the final on May 23. The cutoff date for Marlborough entries is July 20.

However, Kendrick is hopeful that more entries would come in.

"There have been strong numbers in Marlborough in the past few years, but these things are cyclical and some years there are low numbers and then it picks up again the following year," he said.

Former solo winner Clara van Wel, who went on to win the New Zealand's Got Talent in 2012, said it would be very disappointing if the event didn't happen in Marlborough. She found it to be a great stepping stone in her career and a good place to trial her songs.

"The New Zealand music industry is very nurturing and Rockquest is a big part of that. People should definitely enter," she said.

Former members of Marlborough band Arm the Reckless Liam Hardman, 17, and Hayden Batt, 17, said they would be very disappointed if the event didn't happen. The band was crowned the winner in the group section in 2013, going on to be national finalists.

Since the band broke up early this year they had formed a new group and were working hard on new material to perform at the event.

For more information or to enter visit smokefreerockquest.co.nz

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- The Marlborough Express

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