Tour guide turns stage star

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By day, Holly Arrowsmith is a Ziptrek Ecotours guide. But by tonight she’ll be performing her own original song live for large audience. 

She’s among 11 Queenstown Songstars 2012 finalists ready to shine. 

The musicians will perform to an audience of up to 300 during the next three nights in Arrowtown. 

Finalist Holly Arrowsmith, 18, says: “It will be an awesome show. 

“We got to hear each other yesterday and everyone is fantastic – so I don’t know which way it is going to go. 

“It has been really cool to see my indie folk song come alive with a band backing me up. It’s not something you get to experience otherwise; it takes the song to a new place.” 

All 11 will perform their songs on each night, with a different running order each night to ensure a fair vote. 

They’ll be backed by a large professional band and singers as they battle to win the popular competition. 

Arrowsmith says the competition has been beneficial to her burgeoning musical career. 

“I want to have an EP and music video recorded by the end of the year, so I’m chipping away at that and this process has definitely helped,” she says. 

“Whoever wins will deserve it because everyone is awesome. It’s such a good experience.” 

The finalists include musicians from Ireland, England and Brazil, along with Queenstown locals, singing rock, blues, country and indie. The winner will be chosen by the audiences, who vote by ticking their favourite on the back of their tickets. 

Organiser and Queenstown showbiz queen Margaret O’Hanlon says: “It shows we can foster creativity and original music. They’ve spent five weeks preparing and the standard is very high. But the pressure is on.”

Catch the Songstars finals at Arrowtown Hall tonight, tomorrow and Saturday from 7.30pm. Tickets are $40 or $20 for under 15s