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To The Front Pōneke & To The Front Te Papaioea 2022

Story Published Friday 1 July 2022

Girls Rock Aotearoa has been helping young women, trans, intersex, takatāpui, and gender diverse youth form bands, build instrument skills, and write original songs since 2018. Two new condensed To The Front programmes have been announced for 2022 in Pōneke (Wellington) and Te Papaioea (Palmerston North).

These three-day weekend programmes take everything that’s made the week-long programmes so successful and offers it in new locations across Aotearoa, at new times of the year, and for participants who might not be able to commit to a full week To The Front experience.

For extra inspiration and motivation to apply watch the promo video here!

To The Front Pōneke will be held Labour Weekend Saturday 22nd to Monday 24th October 2022. Once again the programme will be hosted by our key sponsor, College of Creative Arts, Massey University Wellington, letting us take advantage of their cutting-edge studio spaces and equipment.

apply here


To The Front Te Papaioea 2022
begins on Friday afternoon October 7th, running through to Sunday October 9th, with a showcase the following Friday October 14th as a part of Swampfest Festival. The programme will be hosted by To The Front Te Papaioea’s key sponsor, Creative Sounds Society - The Stomach, Palmerston North, allowing us access to their state of the art facilities.

apply here


Both programmes are taking applications for participants (aged 12 - 17) and mentors! Apply below.

What do our programmes look like?

Participants aged 12 – 17 learn instruments, form bands, write original songs, and perform at a showcase, all guided by professional musicians in an inclusive environment. Alongside collaborative learning, participants will take part in workshops about topics like DIY merchandise, mindfulness, and performance skills. No prior musical experience is necessary.

Why does To The Front exist?

Girls Rock Aotearoa launched with the kaupapa of fostering inclusivity in our musical communities by starting at the grassroots; with our rangatahi.

A recent report released by Massey University researchers found that “more than two-thirds of women in the music community (70.1 per cent) reported experiencing bias, disadvantage or discrimination based on their gender – seven times the rate of men (10 per cent).”

By creating an inclusive, fun, and supportive space for our young people, we’re helping to build a brighter future for music and musicians in Aotearoa.

The To The Front name, in use since 2021’s Pōneke programme, gives a nods to the feminist punk Riot Grrrl movement of the 90’s, where the phrase was popularised by bands such as Bikini Kill as a way to decentre white, cisgender, male music audiences. Building on that legacy, we’re bringing women and gender minorities “to the front”.