Smokefree Tangata Beats is a live, original music, nationwide, youth event that recognises and reflects the unique cultural identity of Aotearoa New Zealand and the South Pacific.

The event started in 1994 as the Urban Beats Award within Smokefreerockquest. The event has steadily built over the years into a competition in its own right, and was originally called Smokefree Pacifica Beats. It was renamed as Smokefree Tangata Beats for 2018 to be more inclusive.

The Smokefree Tangata Beats competition aims to be a platform for developing and growing young music talent in Aotearoa. It has been a nurturing ground for young artists who are successful today, such as Nesian Mystik – Nesian Mystik are the only New Zealand band to ever have ten singles all certified gold or platinum.

Smokefree Tangata Beats aims to motivate young musicians to prove their ability with cultural relevance and realise the heights they can reach in their music careers, and to encourage their peers to support 100% original Aotearoa Kiwi music.

Read Rockquest promotions history

Dates for 2021

Please note that it is possible some of these dates may 
change closer to the time.



Sun May 23

Tikipunga HS

Auckland Central

Sat June 19 (Final: June 26)

Dorothy Winstone Centre


Sat June 5

Carterton Events Centre


Sat May 29

TBS Showplace


Sat May 15

Clarence St Theatre

Bay of Plenty

Sun May 16



Fri May 28

Globe Theatre

East Coast

Fri May 21

War Memorial Theatre


Heat Date


Hawke's Bay

Sat May 22

Napier BHS


Sat May 16

Globe Theatre

Wellington & Hutt

Sat May 15

Notre Dame PAC


Sat May 8

Annesbrook Church


Sat May 15

Aurora Centre


Sat June 26 - Craighead Auditorium

West Coast

Fri July 2 - Regent Theatre


Sat May 22

Taieri College

Central Otago

Sun May 23

Wakatipu HS


Thu June 17 - Civic Theatre

welcome back for 2021!

Entries for this years programme, and for Smokefreerockquest, open on 16 February. Until then – keep writing and practicing. We cannot wait to see what you have come up with!

If you’re looking for some inspiration – check out our Breaking It Down Series (here) where we talk to established acts about their story and get their tips and tricks.

Read More


We’d love to hear from you:
Instagram - @tangatabeats
Facebook - @tangatabeats
YouTube - @rockquest

Email us – help@smokefreerockquest.co.nz

Phone us – (03) 545 6574

Write to us – PO Box 568, Nelson


We are extremely grateful for our wonderful sponsors.
Without them, Smokefree Tangata Beats would not be possible.



Who can enter Smokefree Tangata Beats?
When are entries due?
What are the Smokefreerockquest Conditions of Entry?
Can people play in more than one band, 
or enter in a band AND as a soloist?
Can we add, remove or change the members of our band once we’ve entered into Smokefree Tangata Beats?
What happens if one of our band members 
leaves school after we enter?
We entered a while ago but haven’t heard back or 
received any information. What should we do?
How do we change the band name that we entered into Smokefree Tangata Beats?
My band is pulling out of Smokefree Tangata Beats. Who do we contact to let know?


Smokefree Tangata Beats (www.sftb.nz)

Alongside SFRQ is Smokefree Tangata Beats. This event, again run nationwide for school age students, recognises and reflects the unique cultural identity of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific. Participants must incorporate Te Reo Māori or a Polynesian language, instruments, dance or movement in their performance. The event motivates young musicians to express themselves with cultural relevance, and to encourage their peers to support original Aotearoa Kiwi music.  

Smokefree Tangata Beats standout successes include Alien Weaponry, Strangely Arousing Nesian Mystik, the only New Zealand band to ever have ten singles all certified gold or platinum.