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I am dead, long live Oppikoppi…

Oppikoppi’s been and gone in a blur of dust, tequila-filled squeezee bottles, dirty denim shorts, green lazer-dappled trees, zebras coming out of portaloos and bands flashing manic rictus grins at the video camera in a celebration of Sexy.Crooked.Teeth. I might have also squeezed in some music somewhere, but the zebra? That was something special. Especially wondering how he/she/it got out of the costume to pee.

But this basically sums it up.

“She’ll fuck you like a hurricane.”

Now, I don’t usually take half-naked skinny emo guys whose jeans are falling halfway down their butts seriously, but Teejay was rocking it out with New Holland and their track Hurricane was spot on.

Oppikoppi will, indeed, screw you over. Physically and mentally. Once the red dust kicks in and merges with the sunburn and dregs at the bottom of your bottle (it could be anything from leftover tequila and Fanta mixed with beer and cane and maybe cream soda and fermented into a lukewarm mess) you’re in true Oppikoppi spirit. The music grabs you by the spine and pulls you along a pathway of mud and boots and passed-out people, past the grimy tents of Mordor and the dry thorn trees adorned with empty Black Label bottles and the dirty portaloos, through the trees and over green grass and then you trip and land in the perfect piece of shade… The better to chill out and watch bands from, my dear.

I learn something new at Oppi every time. And this is it.

A tent is a natural amplifier. Lie down on the blow-up mattress and you’re immediately surrounded by crystal clear surround sound. From all three stages plus the deck on the hill.

Why was I lying down in my tent while there was still actual music in the air? I guess I’m getting old.

Yes, it is possible to have a swimming pool with a blow-up octopus toy floating in it in your campsite. All I can say is that the Jose Cuervo people rock. (Shameless promotion!)

Yes, it’s possible to lodge a deckhair at the top of a very tall thorn tree. Why? Why not?

Yes, you can drink tequila for a whole weekend without actually rolling down the side of the hill and breaking a leg. How? It’s called a miracle.

And then, there’s also always highlights at Oppi… And these were it.

Albert Frost and Vusi Mahlasela. When Vusi threw back his head and pulled in that extra breath needed to raise the roof, I swear even Albert had tears in his eyes. In fact, he told me he did.

Dancing to Haezer… Dancing so hard your brain rattles loose and dances out your ears and down your arms and skips over the heads of the crowd until it reaches the stage and goes “I wanna have little Haezer babies!” And then you remember nothing more but the beat.

Looking at Sean Brand’s photos – and understanding what he means by “En ek kan nie ophou kyk nie”.

Interviewing bands at Oppi and filming some interesting moments. Like one band member misinterpreting a question and giving advice to virgins planning to lose it at Oppi… In a nutshell? Day one people, ‘cos things get diiirrty!

And then, I also always update my own personal Oppi survival guide… Which I’ll share.

Stuff a poncho/hoodie/towel at the bottom of your sleeping bag to keep your toes from freezing. Wear the rest of your clothing plus a beanie on your head. You might survive.

Repeat after me: wetwipes.

Do not drink from a stranger’s squeezee bottle.

When in doubt, have another shot of tequila.

It’s okay to just stay in camp and toast marshmallows. Yes, really.

Hipsters, hippies, emos, rockers, punks, goths, frat boys, poppies… We all smell the same once the Oppi fug sets in.

Will I go back? Honestly? Hell no*.

* This time next year I’ll be updating my survival guide. Don’t miss it.

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Published inMusic


  1. Haha, “the Oppi Fug sets in” – invariably it does affect everyone..
    Great read, we look forward to seeing you next year! Except make sure to let us know you’re there so we can show you the Cuervo Deck.

    btw, the link in your post is for the global site. Cuervo is active locally on Twitter & Facebook 😉

    Thanks again

    • thanks for the head’s up, I’ll change it asap! It was a total blast… I did end up on the deck for a short while, I remember a photobooth and some strange wigs… Jose Cuervo can totally throw a party!

  2. I wish I could write like you as Margaret Laurence once said “When I say “work” I only mean writing. Everything else is just odd jobs.”

    Sent from my Android phone

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