Photographing Kirstenbosch 2020

A Story From 2018

7:00 pm

Mar 1, 2020


The 2020 concert season has finally started for LouwLemmer photography. It seems as though I always end up in Cape Town in March, and I love it.

See You Soon Cape Town

The 2020 concert season has finally started for LouwLemmer photography. It seems as though I always end up in Cape Town in March, and I love it. Of course, my first concert of the year was always going to be a Matthew Mole show. I had been booked for this show a couple of months in advance. Let me tell you, it was worth the wait because this was my favourite and the best show I have ever done.

Sunday 1 March 2020, 04:00am

Matt: Hey man, when will you be at the airport? We will be there at 04:30 to sort out luggage.

Louw: Hey dude, I will be there at 5.

I met up at the airport with Matthew, Robbie and Jaco. We passed through the gate and headed straight for the OR Tambo Vida e Caffe. It is one of our tour traditions to always grab a coffee/ginger & lime shot and water there. This is especially true for early morning flights. Today was no different. From Vida, we could see our boarding. It was jam-packed and moments away from allowing passengers to storm the plane. Luckily, we did have priority boarding for this trip, which meant there was no rush. We were on the plane in a jiffy, ready for another Kirstenbosch show.


Hey Robbie, I use my noise cancellation earphones on stage. Then I can literally listen to a Matthew Mole Album while photographing a Matthew Mole concert haha


Filling Up

One of the contributing factors to why this was the best concert photography I had ever done, was because of how much fun the day was. By saying this, I do not imply other evets didn’t have fun days. But, there was something special about Kirstenbosch 2020.

When we arrived in Cape Town, the first task was to collect our Ford Ranger bakkie rental, which we filled up with luggage and various essential stage equipment. From there we went straight to a nearby storage facility to pick up Matthew’s piano shell. Getting to it was quite a mission though. Someone had placed a foreign lock on the storage door. We scrutinized over the fact and decided it must have been a practical joke from someone who had a spare lock on them. Luckily, a security guard assisted us with the use of a pickaxe. We unloaded the bakkie and managed to get the piano shell in without any difficulty. We reloaded the luggage and equipment quite snugly.

By now it was around 9 am. We were a little tired and very hungry. Solving this solution came in the form of a Spur cheeseburger and a milkshake. I’ll confess, I gulped mine far too quickly. Breakfast went down nicely, providing enough energy for us to drive into town to pick up Natasha (tickets manager) before heading straight to the Kirstenbosch venue. 

The Show

A lot goes into setting up a show of this scale. It takes a whole stage crew hours to arrange the stage in such a way that it looks visually engaging. It also takes quite the effort to connect everything and make sure that it all works. After hours of hard work from the stage crew alongside Matthew and Robbie’s efforts, it’s time for soundcheck. This is usually done from 15:00 – 16:00 when the gates open.

The venue was sold out and filled up to the brim. It’s really quite incredible to see how the lush green grass of Kirstenbosch transfers as 6000 people claim their spot. Anticipation is high. Everyone is here to See Matthew Mole perform. Excitement is especially high because Matt will be performing songs from his brand new album, Ghost.

From here we head straight to the green room. It’s time to chill and prepare for the big show that will kick off at 17:30. This time is always filled with conversation and laughter. I am always amazed by how calm Matthew and Robbie are. The only sign of nerves can be seen in the slightest when it’s go time. I am not going to lie, my stomach also fills up with loads of butterflies. When the moment comes though, everything feels like it moves in slow motion. I almost forget that there are thousands of screaming fans. Now, it’s my camera and I. The stage is clear and it’s only the three of us.

Thank You For Reading

It’s really nice of you to have read my blog. It means the world and I’d like to thank you. If you love what I’ve posted here, please consider sharing, commenting and liking. Tell me how you feel about the visual experience that I’ve tried to provide for you.

About the author

Louw Lemmer

Gauteng, South Africa

Louw Lemmer is a South African photographer and creative director who tells vibrant visual stories that captivate both mind and soul. Within subject-matter and colour-grade, he sets himself apart by constantly developing a unique style.

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