In the same week that Auckland moves away from its Level 4 Covid-Delta variant lockdown, organisers of NZ’s annual Smokefree Rockquest and Smokefree Tangata Beats competitions have announced this year’s national finals will not be staged.
“Having taken all the moving parts of planning and running an event into account – we have made the hard decision that we will not be holding national finals this year. This is incredibly disappointing, for both sets of Top 10 National Finalists most of all, but also for us as an organisation – the first time ever we will not hold national finals, it’s painful.”
Only a few weeks prior organisers had started on plans for audience-less national finals of the two competitions but were forced to conclude that in the interests of safety and fairness, as well as inclusivity, the events cannot proceed in 2021. They do however promise to be back again in 2022.
“We cannot wait to get back on the road to hear young people perform their songs. Being able to run these events is a privilege we don’t take lightly – it’s a very special space we are able to hold on the Smokefree Rockquest and Smokefree Tangata Beats stages.”
Congratulations (and commiserations) to all those regional finals winners who this year will not get the chance to compete in the national finals: