Make some noise for young Queenstown rockers


Teen musos are refining their acts ahead of Smokefree-rockquest’s regional contest on Saturday. 

It is Wakatipu High band The Fletcherz’s first shot at the competition and they’ve spent a lot of time prepping. 

Schoolmates George Hartshorn, Sam Maxwell, Jacob Sheehy and Damon Spijkerbosch formed their band in April last year. 

The Fletcherz, named after a Fletcher Building ad on TV, will belt out music by Pink Floyd and The Cranberries for a 1980s-influenced set. 

George says the group, finalists at last month’s Sound Quest Southland, would love to win a final spot, but it usually takes three years of competing in Rockquest before bands are selected. 

“It’s better to start young and get more experience.” 

Two winners plus the people’s choice from Central Otago will send off a DVD and hope to be chosen for the national finals at Hamilton September 11. 

Eleven of the 19 acts in the regional heat are from Wakatipu High, a reason for local parent Justin Eden to be proud. Eden helped set up Rock Formation Trust last February to give local teenage rockers an incentive to practice and get ready for Rockquest. 

He also organised the Big Break music concert in Queenstown in May. 

“They used to put a band together a month before, practice furiously, produce something very good and then disband and wander off – it was a shame to see all that talent lost,” Eden says. 

“We’re constantly amazed by what they turn out.” 

Queenstown is hosting it for the first time. Doors open at Memorial Hall at 7pm.