It’s time to tune up again


A Queenstown talent contest for singer-songwriters is returning and organiser Margaret O’Hanlon is calling for entries. 

O’Hanlon launched the competition Songstars in Queenstown last year – entrants perform a new original number before a live audience, who then vote for the winner. 

This year O’Hanlon is opening the competition up to anyone in the South Island. 

Entrants must submit one to three original songs that haven’t been performed before – and then O’Hanlon decides on a lineup of finalists to go before an audience over three nights in June. 

Entries must be in by April 15. 

Last year Queenstowner Katie Raven won with her song Freedom, which she got to record as part of the prize and says it gave her a lot of momentum. 

“Songstars gave me a big boost for my confidence in terms of making this a career.” 

Raven, who also won $1000 for first place, is now in Dunedin having a crack at recording an album.
O’Hanlon has plans to eventually grow Songstars, saying it could go national. 

“The only thing that’s stopping me from opening it up to the rest of the country is I don’t have the resources to bring them here,” she says. 

“I’d like to see it on a national level with people coming to Queenstown to compete,” O’Hanlon says. “Or where it goes around the country like Rockquest – and then comes to Queenstown for the finals.”