Review: Kirstenbosch Summer Concerts 2022/23, a jubilant season, with diverse offerings

The Kirstenbosch Summer Concerts season 2022/23 season, wrapped up last Sunday, April 2, 2023 with Ami Faku/Msaki. It was sold out – as were most of the concerts in the 2022/23 season- in the magnificent gardens. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the final concert but did attend many of the concerts and I can say that each one was a joy. The programming was impressively diverse.  Cape Town Opera was on stage on January 22, 2023– the first time that the opera company has performed there in 23 years. Howzat! The opera was accompanied by The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra. []

I loved the energetically charged concert featuring, Neon Dreams, Majozi and Will Linley [December 26, 2022]. The concert was sold out – six thousand seats. It was terrific to see the adoration for Will Linley and Majozi as they went onto the concert lawns and mingled with their fans. []

I was amazed to hear that it was PJ Power’s first time on stage at Kirstenbosch. She shared her sheer joy at being there with the audience at Terry Fortune’s Golden Oldies Concert [February 5, 2023]. PJ mesmerised the audience with her iconic Jabulani and soothed us, ensuring us that everything will be okay. She told us that she has been through worse. The gees at this concert was awesome, with many seniors attending. The concept of Golden Oldies is to provide a platform to celebrate artists who are over 60. It is a vital showcase of artists who are part of the musical heritage of Cape Town. Terry Fortune was as always a showstopper and each person on the bill was spectacular. A treat was to see Lorraine Klaasen- daughter of the late and great – Thandi Klaasen. Lorraine lives in Canada so it was special to see her back in her home country. The ever-young Sophia Foster, Leslie Kleinsmith and Madeegha Anders were dynamite and they shared the stage with ‘youngsters’ such as Emo Adams and Loukmaan Adams (MC). The band was terrific and so were the backing singers. The audience, dancing, singing, on its feet, was very much part of the concert. []. This concert was magic and not like anything I have experienced at Kirstenbosch. I hope that Golden Oldies returns to the 2023/24 concert line-up.

A signature Kirstenbosch concert attraction is Goldfish – the internationally celebrated acoustic duo, aka Dominic Peters and David Poole. They are two South Africans who met at UCT and have become a mega success. [] Goldfish is based in San Diego, in the USA but one wonders when these two musos sleep as they are constantly touring the party circuit in dream destinations. For years, Goldfish has been a hugely popular Kirstenbosch concert draw-card. The gigs are obviously family friendly- not in a club or boozed up setting. Alcohol is allowed at the Kirstenbosch concerts but one may not wander around the concert arena with a glass in hand. One can drink – in one’s place- on the lawn- but not on a walkabout – fair play. There is a security presence with marshals, watching and a general sense of feeling ‘safe’. I was amazed at the huge contingent of young fans at Goldfish. I am talking under 12s- that was it seemed to me- very young. They were bopping along with their parents- who also appeared to be very young- 28 year old moms and there 10 year old kidlets. I estimate, yes, that was the vibe that I got. I was also intrigued that many people had no idea about the names of the artists. They know Goldfish music from the radio. Many had no idea that it is a South African outfit.

The Goldfish concert sold out, early on in the concert season, with people desperate to get tickets. This leads me to my booking alert regarding the concert season and I know several people who paid way more than the advertised concert rate because they did not buy through Webtickets – the designated ticket seller for the Kirstenbosch Summer Concert Series. I have reiterated in all my coverage of the concert season and here it is again: Do not buy via secondary or other ticket platforms. [Read more here:] You not only may pay a lot more than the rack rate price but you may find that your ticket does not scan- ie that it is fake. This alert has been put out widely, but because of optimum SEO (search engine optimisation), consumers assume that if it comes up top on a search engine then that is the place to book. So that is a wrap from TheCapeRobyn on the 2022/2023 Kirstenbosch Summer Concert Series. The concerts were brilliantly organised (on time, no smoking in concert venue – love that). Each show was special – with the sublime mountain setting: The Kirstenbosch Summer Concert Series is a Cape Town summer essential must-do. Book when the 2023/24 season opens up – on Webtickets – designated ticket seller.

✳Featured image – Terry Fortune’s Golden Oldies Concert, February 5, 2023. Pic: © TheCapeRobyn/Robyn Cohen.