There is a reason the Old Mutual Summer Concerts at the Kirstenbosch Gardens are on just about every must-do list. It’s an absolutely magical venue all on its own, and having the pleasure of being able to sit back and relax there while taking in good music only adds to the enjoyment of being there. Everyone had spread out their things, taking in their surroundings, sharing the picnics they had brought. The Kirstenbosch Gardens, if you haven’t been before or are just struggling to remember, is deemed one of the must-sees for tourists from around the world. Don’t be put off by the idea of obnoxious tourists snapping constant pictures. Even for locals, the place seems to hold some sort of magical quality in its beauty. Repeat visitors can’t fail to notice how the gardens never fail to impress. The atmosphere for the concert was just so pleasant that it seemed impossible to have a bad time, regardless of who was playing.

However the music too was just as satisfying as the venue. On Sunday afternoons throughout the summer, concerts are put on in the gardens, and judging based on attendance for this night alone, word has gotten out. The performance being put on by the popular group Freshlyground seems to have drawn massive crowds, numbering in the thousands, all of whom came out on this beautiful night to share the experience of live music in such a beautiful setting. Freshlyground is the perfect artist to come see here, it seems. With members of the group from Mozambique, Zimbabwe and various parts of South Africa, it seems that the group has everyone in the audience pulsing with excitement as they wait for the concert to start. Freshlyground seemed to take in some of the audience’s excitement and put it into their performance. On multiple occasions, they had the audience, who needed very little coaxing, up and dancing. While their well-known hits seemed to have everybody singing along (Is there anyone who doesn’t know ‘Waka Waka’ at this point?) even some of their lesser known ones had enough energy to get people up and dancing, or at least bopping their heads in time to the beat.

Throughout the entire set list, the group’s energy matched that of those in the audience, particularly those who ran down to the stage itself to be as close as possible. Lead vocalist Zolani Mahola kept the liveliness up not just with her lyrics but also with some high-energy dance moves she showed off as she pranced back and forth on the stage during the group’s performance. The concert-goers loved every second of it, eating it up, and the smiles never seemed to leave their faces. It was hard to tell who was having more fun, the audience of Freshlyground.

The effect of the whole evening can only be described as magical. Between the beauty and loveliness of the setting and the space for all the happy music lovers in attendance, a better venue could not have been possible. Freshlyground put on a concert that had everyone happy and excited to be there. As one of the last concerts in the Old Mutual Summer Concert series, it was an evening that reminded everyone that summer’s not over just yet. A perfect evening, by any standards, and definitely something that is, and will continue to be, a long-standing tradition in many people’s summer plans, and after this concert, it is easy to see why.

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