Girls Rock! Tāmaki Makaurau has been helping young women, transgender and gender-non-conforming youth form bands, build instrumental skills, and write original songs since 2018, and now the 2020 programme is set to be bigger than ever.

Applications are now open for this unique holiday programme which fosters confidence and community through the power of music. Thanks to the generous support of MAINZ (Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand), our programme will once again be hosted at their campus in Auckland’s CBD from 20-25 January 2020. Girls Rock! is open to youth aged 12-17 years who are women,and/or intersex, transgender, or gender non-conforming. They’ll learn instruments, form bands, and write original songs, all guided by professional musicians in a women-led environment.

Alongside collaborative learning, participants will take part in workshops about positive body image, zine-making, and performance. Each day they’ll enjoy lunchtime performances from local artists: the 2019 camp included performances by Julia Deans, Brown Boy Magik, Mermaidens, Lexxa, and Fruit Juice Parade.

The kaupapa of Girls Rock! is to empower young women, transgender and gender non-conforming youth by giving them practical skills and role models in a safe, supportive space.

What’s the story of Girls Rock! Aotearoa? In 2017, Kiwi feminist music lovers and musicians came together to launch Aotearoa’s version of this global programme, from bands like Street Chant, The Beths, Carb on Carb, Wax Chattels and more. From there, the Girls Rock! whanau has continued to grow, with 2019 seeing Girls Rock! expand to Pōneke/Wellington where a very successful camp was held this July. What remains consistent is the passionate support of young women and gender minorities – amplifying their voices within New Zealand’s music community.

“The amount of support and encouragement I’ve experienced through Girls Rock! is unlike anything I’ve ever encountered before,” says Nicole Gaffney, GR!A Chairperson.

“We’re trying to create an environment we wish we had when we first started playing music and interacting with music scenes. A space where you feel truly accepted and supported by your peers and by the people you look up to,” she says.

The participants are equally enthusiastic:
“I absolutely loved GR!A because of all of the music, learning and getting to know awesome young women who share the same interests as you,” said one 2019 Girls Rock! camper.

“I loved it so much. So much positivity and non-judgemental energy.”

More info:
• Girls Rock! is a paid holiday programme with an allocation of financial assistance available for low-income families.
• Applicants don’t need any previous musical experience and participants will be at all different levels.
• Girls Rock! Runs from 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, with a showcase on Saturday, 1pm to 3pm.
• Girls Rock! Tāmaki Makaurau is supported by the Tindall Foundation’s Next Gen fund, Auckland Council, Creative Communities, MAINZ, The New Zealand Music Commission, and Recorded Music New Zealand.