When: King's Birthday Weekend 2023
Contact: Events Coordinator Jessica Swan
Every year at King’s Birthday weekend, buskers take to the streets of Gore for literally the coolest busking competition in New Zealand.
Freeze Ya Bits Off is one of the key events in the Bayleys Tussock Country Music Festival and is set to grow even more.
Held over three days, the event kicks off on Friday with local schools taking to the street to showcase all their hard work and singing talent. Saturday and Sunday see local and national performers bring their best for the crowds, with such passion and vibrancy that you can't help but get swept away by the electric atmosphere.
The grand finale is on Sunday. Finalists go head to head for major cash prizes. Entry is free, so come along to support your favourite artists (and thaw your bits out) at the cosy and warm St James Theatre.
There are several prize categories:
- Open Group
- Open Individual
- Under 14's
- High School
- Primary & Intermediate School
- People's Choice
- Peter Reid Encouragement Award*
*Although a cabinet maker by trade, Peter Reid was best known as a long-standing musician throughout the province. He played in local rock bands for over 45 years, was inducted into the Southern Rock n Roll Hall of Fame and was a life member of the Southern Sound Foundry.
The guitar being his instrument of choice, Peter was incredibly passionate about helping young people learn to play, tutoring budding musicians for over 30 years. He made the guitar-shaped trophy for the MLT Gold Guitar Awards (the original won by Patsy Rigger was made by Mr. France) in the shape of his preferred instrument, a Fender Stratocaster.
This award is to honour his legacy as a Gold Guitars and Freeze Ya Bits Off Busking judge and his passion for passing on the art of music to the next generation. It is given to a young busker participating in the competition, to encourage their passion for the industry and celebrate all of the effort and practice they have given to their chosen instrument so far.