Original musicians wanted for showcase


A Queenstown showbiz stalwart is planning a Wakatipu singer-songwriter competition culminating in a three-night live showcase. 

Margaret O’Hanlon wants performers to submit original material as entries for her new event called Song Stars. 

O’Hanlon, the woman behind Queenstown’s wildly successful Starry Eyed contests involving performers doing covers, says ideally entrants will enter two or three songs. 

The songs must be the composer’s own work and not recorded or performed publicly on a prior occasion. The songwriter also has to be the performer. 

O’Hanlon: “I didn’t want to make it a songwriter’s competition – it’s not as interesting as the artist themselves performing. 

“There are plenty of musicians around town but we often don’t get to see them do their own stuff because the original stuff isn’t necessarily lucrative. But that doesn’t take away from their expertise.” 

O’Hanlon and fellow organisers will then decide who makes the final cut to perform one song live in front of an audience at Memorial Hall in July. She’s aiming for a variety of musical styles. 

The audience members over the three nights will judge which performer and song is the best. The overall winner gets $1000 – with a $100 prize plus extra gifts for the winner on each night. 

O’Hanlon says the finalists will have access to backing bands, vocalists, choreography – and will also get performance and vocal coaching in the build up. 

A CD of the original songs by those who make the cut to perform will be made available at the shows. 

O’Hanlon says she hopes Song Stars will become an annual event in Queenstown.