Gig Review – Stevie Wonder, British Summer Time Festival, Hyde Park, 6 July 2019

We had no idea what to expect with Stevie Wonder. He’s a legend and it would have been no surprise at all if he’d not allowed any photo access at all. As it was, for much of the day we thought we were going to be shooting from the pit. Not so in the end.

But first Lionel Richie. Well not first, actually second last of the day, but he banished photographers to the mixing desk which is a ridiculous distance away from the stage so I didn’t bother – both times I’ve shot his shows, including the last time he headlined BST here in Hyde Park, it has been from the pit.

In the end we got one song for Stevie Wonder, shooting from the gap between the diamond and golden circles. Only about 6 of us got accreditation. It wasn’t ideal but actually wasn’t too bad a distance. I used the 150-600mm Sigma for close ups but the 300mm f/2.8 gave the sharpest shots.

We had song three specifically because during the first two songs he was at a different piano, hidden from view. As you can see, you don’t get to see much of him but hey, it’s Stevie Wonder so who cares!?

After our shoot, I walked through the crowd on my way out and decided to stop for 10-15 minutes to watch some of his set. Who knew when or if he’d ever return here to play again. As it is, he announced at the end of the show that he’s having a kidney transplant in September and I’m sure I won’t be the only one to wish him well.

When we had been shooting earlier on, it wasn’t practical to get a whole stage shot because of the angles, so this shot below was a quick grab shot before I headed for home. I wanted a general view of the whole stage because it looked magnificent from back there.