The opening acts to warm up the sold-out crowd for Phil Collins at next month's Mission Estate Concert are likely to be announced in about a week.

SEL concert director Garry Craft said there would be three opening acts and they were just awaiting a final confirmation from one to get the final schedule out.

He confirmed they were New Zealand artists.

"It's a very good line-up," he said.


Collins' visit to Hawke's Bay will arguably be a highlight of the region's summer concert season, which is jampacked with 80s superstars.

Toto and Jefferson Starship performed at Church Road last night. UB40 and The Pretenders are also set to rock in the vines in the coming months.

With Phil Collins due at Mission Estate in just under a month, site preparations have begun with mowers keeping the grassed arena smooth and clean-cut for the bulk of the estimated 25,000 concert-goers.

Craft said overall preparations were going well although they were working to iron out a hiccup on the transportation front.

"We are 10 bus drivers short," was how he put it.

The drivers were needed to drive the buses from the Anderson Park collection site to the concert gates.

The Waitangi Day mid-week date had caught them out because many drivers were unable to work late on Wednesday night as they would be required for school bus runs the next morning.

"So we need some drivers," Craft said.


Nimon and Sons transport manager Garth Nimon said drivers had to have a 10-hour break so a late night driving shuttles meant school runs could not be carried out.

"And we have to do those of course."

There would also be a cruise ship in town that day and buses and drivers were also needed for that.

"This is a bit of a one-off — there could be a lot of people walking from Anderson Park to the concert," he said.

Drivers with a Class 2 or Class 4 licence, with a "P" endorsement for passenger services, would be happily taken aboard to help with shuttle duties and could contact Nimon and Sons via their email giving their passenger driving details.

The company would be bringing in buses from outside the region to help cope with the day's demands.