Share the stage with Costello


Southern musicians have the chance to share a stage with music legends Elvis Costello and The Doobie Brothers.

It’s the top prize for a busking competition ahead of the inaugural Queenstown Blues & Roots Festival at the Events Centre in Frankton on April 26.

The winner will be the first act on the main outdoor stage at noon – the concert includes Kiwi bands Fly My Pretties and The Black Seeds.

A similar busking competition has run since 2004 at Australia’s Byron Bay Bluesfest, Queenstown festival promoter Grant Hilton says.

“It was something the community could feel they could be a part of.” 

The Queenstown competition winner will also receive a day’s free recording in a local studio.

Runners-up may also get a chance to play in and around the festival.

Hilton says he’s looking for musicians who play their own music: “We’re not looking for jugglers, but if there’s some clever people out there …”

After a preliminary round, Hilton says six finalists will perform on April 19 during Easter in front of three judges at Queenstown’s Pig & Whistle pub.

Hilton has appointed long-time local musician Sam Ross to organise it. 

“It could be a dream come true for somebody,” Ross says.

Hopefuls can enter via website