Ben Dowdle and Reece Milton from Nayland College band The Recliners, will be performing at Rock the South. Photo: Tim Cuff.

Youth bands back to rock Theatre Royal

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The best of Nelson’s youth bands are getting ready to Rock the South next Friday night at the Theatre Royal.

Now in its second year, the all-ages youth gig features nine up-and-coming local bands, including regional Smokefreerockquest (SFRQ) winners, The Recliners, from Nayland College.

They will be joined live on-stage by fellow Rockquest finalists Blind Eye, Acoustic Knot, Shut Up Connor (Waimea College), and Equinox (Nelson College for Girls).

Completing the lineup is 1024 (Nelson Boys College), Ellie and Laura (Waimea College), 3’s a Crowd (Nayland College) and Finding Sam.

The event also involves youth working behind the scenes, in a range of production and event management roles.

Nelson City Council’s Axel de Maupeou, who supports Rock the South through the creative communities fund, says it’s “more than just an event”.

“It’s a platform for youth. Rock the South is an opportunity to support youth musical endeavours not only on the stage, but behind the scenes too. The same age group will be behind the mixing desk, doing the lighting and managing the event, supported by mentors.

“It helps to kick-start that practical experience, especially those pursuing a career in any of these areas.”

Axel says they are excited with this year’s on-stage line-up, and a diverse range of genres will be on offer, including alternative rock, pop, reggae, acoustic, indie, country, funk and jazz.

“The event was very successful last year, and we hope to continue it as a way to promote youth music,” he says.

“There is a very strong, dynamic and enthusiastic bunch of musicians in Nelson who are very dedicated to showcase their talent.”

Rock the South is on at the Theatre Royal on Friday June 8, at 7-10pm. Tickets are just $5 and are available from Ticket Direct online, or at the Theatre Royal Box Office. The event is alcohol-free and suitable for those 14-24 years of age.