Free concert to conclude Christchurch earthquake commemorations goes ahead online

Bic Runga is set to headline the now-online concert.
Bic Runga is set to headline the now-online concert. Photo credit: File Image

A free concert in Christchurch's botanic gardens as part of the city's 2011 earthquake commemorations will today go ahead as an online-only event, after most of New Zealand entered alert level 2.

The free concert Otautahi Together - headlined by Bic Runga - is the conclusion to the week's commemorations marking 10 years since the earthquake.

But with new COVID-19 alert level changes coming starting this morning, the event will now be online.

Mary Richardson, who leads Christchurch City Council's COVID-19 incident management team, asked people to not come to the Botanic Gardens for it

"The area where the concert was going to be will be cordoned off and we won't be allowing people in."

The event will be livestreamed here from 2pm.

The Christchurch Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon, which was due to go ahead this morning in Jellie Park, as have the Hagley Park Polo and the Farewell to the Godwits events.

The Christchurch Motorway Half Marathon and the Cycling New Zealand Mountain Bike Championships are proceeding today, but under Alert Level 2 restrictions.

On Monday a civic memorial service was held at the Oi Manawa memorial wall in the central city which hundreds of people attended.

Runga will perform a song she wrote to mark the tenth anniversary called No One walks This Night Alone, for the first time.

"I wanted to write something that was both solemn and hopeful. I know the people of Christchurch and so many people around the world have suffered a collective trauma as a result of the earthquake, and it's been a really long road.

"The 10 year anniversary of the event was an opportunity to take stock of their journey, while of course never forgetting those who died and everything that was lost," she said.

She said the title of the song No One Walks This Night Alone was inspired by the images of the first night following the earthquake.

"The message of the song, even though the verses are anguished, is that we are all in this together collectively and that love is what gives us the strength to overcome great adversity. No one should feel alone in the anguish that has occurred, this is something that has happened to us together.''

Holly Arrowsmith and Surfing USSR will also perform at the concert which begins at 2pm.