Kiwi musicians are lining up to star in a benefit concert for earthquake-struck Cantabrians.

Band Together, at Hagley Park on October 23, will feature some of the biggest names in New Zealand music including Opshop, the Exponents and Dave Dobbyn.

Opshop front man Jason Kerrison told earthquake volunteers at Canterbury University yesterday that the inspiration for the event came from watching everyone working together.

Kerrison said band members called their mates to see if they could get together for a gig to "show some solidarity".

"I hope this concert will be a chance for the people of Christchurch to both let off some steam and know that the rest of the country is behind them 100 per cent."

Promoter Paul Ellis, a former NZ Idol judge, said pulling together the show would be a huge undertaking.

"It's not easy to organise. It's a huge effort to organise a gig like this but it's a no-brainer. We really want to do it for Canterbury, for the residents of Canterbury, and it was very easy to galvanise the musicians behind it."

Initially, he began contacting Canterbury artists, but it quickly developed into something bigger.

"We contacted Mayor Bob Parker to make sure we weren't putting further pressure on the city and the infrastructure. The police and all the authorities were happy for it to go ahead," Ellis said.

The show would be broadcast simultaneously on television and radio as well as streamed on the internet "for the poor Kiwis in London or New York to share the experience as well".

The concert will start at midday and finish at 8pm. Hagley Park can hold up to 100,000 people.

The concert will be funded by sponsorship. Ellis said he already had five sponsors on board but he would be seeking more once final costs were known.

Canterbury University students who volunteered in the days after the earthquake were given a further boost yesterday when Mr Parker announced 240 of them would be given free tickets to an upcoming Metallica show.

The volunteers were organised by law and politics student Sam Johnson, who marshalled them using a Facebook site.

The 21-year-old said he had been looking for some way to reward them.

Prime Minister John Key told the volunteers that young people were sometimes demonised but they were among the "very best New Zealand had to offer".

Mr Key was in Christchurch yesterday for the fourth time since the September 4 earthquake. He told 60 Urban Search and Rescue workers they were doing "magnificent work", and was presented with his own USAR jacket when he visited its Woolston base.

He also spoke to residents of Elmswood Retirement Home about how they coped with the earthquake and the ongoing aftershocks.

Band Together Concert:

October 23, North Hagley Park, Christchurch. Free admission.


Dave Dobbyn, Bic Runga, Opshop, The Feelers, J Williams, The Exponents, Anika Moa, Dane Rumble.