Update November 18, 2015
A lovely evening in Kirstenbosch: Elton John in concert
The Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden does not only show thousands of flowers and plants, but hosts also a variety of musicians - local and international stars you can listen to while you're sitting on the lawn, having a nice picnic. When we stayed in Cape Town as FIFA-Volunteers during the World Cup 2010 we had the great chance to enjoy Sir Elton John in this beautiful setting!
The Elton John concert was not part of the normal line of Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts that take place on various Sundays from end of November to early April. Several years ago we were pointed to the concerts for the first time - and we came to see the Soweto String Quartett. Unfortunately it rained and rained the whole evening (it was the last concert at the end of summer...), but these men's peppy south african music was fabulous!
We also enjoyed Malaika - another local star - in the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden. That time the weather was perfect, everybody had a wonderful picnic, and the music was great!
One morning that year Claudia looked out of the window, saw the blue sky and said: "It's flower time...!" which means: Come on, perfect weather for visiting the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden!
At the entrance an announcement attracted our attention: Elton John would be on stage here in the garden on 24th and 25th of March! The tickets were expensive compared with other concerts (500 Rand per ticket compared to 75 Rand for a "normal" concert), but still affordable compared to prices you pay in Europe!
Where else in the world do you have the opportunity to experience this giant of music live on stage while you're sitting on a picnic blanket with a glass of red wine in your hand...? So that would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for us, and we bought tickets for the 24th of March.
On the day of the concert we left the language school in time to be among the first people who entered the place, but of course hundreds were already there. We had to wait nearly an hour until the gates opened. Then everybody hurried to get a place with a good view. But you must know - there are no places with a bad view! The only difference you may detect is the visual size of your star...
We found a quite flat place in the middle of the lawn, and we still had one and a half hour left for our picnic. The lawn filled with 8000 people (a number we heard from a marshal - the concert was sold out), but everybody found a place to sit down!
It was already dark when Elton John entered the scene at 7 pm - and he played 2 hours and 55 minutes without a break! Fabulous! He was on his own, without his band, but all he needed was his piano. He started with some old slow songs from his first albums, but then he forced the pace - and he played a 20-minute-version of "Rocket Man"... Amazing!
Later Annie Lennox joined him for a song, and for several songs he was accompanied by Ray Cooper, a 67-year-old (!) percussionist who had already worked with Elton John in the 1970s. His powerful performance was stunning! It was a great evening, in spite of the slight rain that began to fall in the middle of the concert...
Back home we searched the internet for the age of Elton John, and we found out that the very next day - the 25th of March - was his birthday! If we had known this when we bought the tickets we would have chosen that date! Ah, we were a little bit disappointed because it must be an awsome experience to celebrate Elton Johns birthday with him!
Keep your eyes open when looking for a concert in the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden in Cape Town: Not every concert is announced on the "normal" website. Sometimes there are special concerts inbetween. Anyway, if you have the chance on a beautiful day, grab a picnic basket and enjoy a concert there!
Have you already visited a concert? How did you enjoy it?