People have called me a “festival junkie”, a “legend” and an “Oppikoppi Veteran” when they’ve heard that I’ve been to 13 Oppikoppi festivals over the years. I must admit that hearing this from various folks has made me smile from ear to ear every time. The fact is: I love South African Music – I always have and I always will, no doubt about that. SA Music is one of my passions. The local music scene has been booming ever since the early days of Koos Kombuis and Springbok Nude Girls and it seems to be growing at an exponential rate (more than some nunus out there think). Just look at the success achieved by artists like Die Antwoord, Jack Parow, Die Heuwels Fantasties, aKING, Van Coke Kartel, Fokofpolisiekar, Dan Patlansky and others over the last few years. It can only get bigger and better if you ask me.
Just to clarify, when I say SA Music or local music I don’t mean commercial crap like like Kurt Darren, Snotkop or Steve Hofmeyr. Even though they’re local and I respect that and the fact that they’ve sold thousands of records over the years, I truly think that there’s tons of underrated music out there that doesn’t get the respect it deserves (and I think a lot of you reading this post will agree with me). There are a few radio stations (like Tuks FM and a few others) that have been realizing that the local music scene can’t be ignored and that have given the underrated local scene the respect it deserves, but there’s still a ton of work left in that department if you ask me. There’s a ton of good local music out there that simply deserves a lot of respect (and airplay of course).
Oppikoppi has always been one of the festivals that truly promotes local talent and has been promoting the underrated local scene for countless years. Fact is: If you’ve played at Oppikoppi chances are more people know who you are and what you do and represent afterwards. Case in point: bands like Wrestlerish, the Parlotones, Prime Circle, aKING, Die Heuwels Fantasties and Fokofpolisiekar and artists like Albert Frost and Dan Patlansky. More than 10,000 people saw Dan Patlansky’s performance at Oppikoppi Unknown Brother last year and he’s been receiving a lot more attention since then. In 2010 Albert Frost performed with Vusi Mahlasela at Oppikoppi which left many a festival goer teary eyed with joy.
I’m am extremely amped up for this year’s edition of the festival, Oppikoppi Sweet Thing (which takes place from the 9th to the 11th of August 2012 on the farm outside Northam in the Limpopo province). I’d like to share five reasons why I am looking forward to this year’s edition of Oppikoppi with you today:
1) The People: Anyone reading this who has been to Oppikoppi will agree with me. One of the reasons why Oppikoppi has grown so much over the years is the people who attend the festival. All professional, cultural, religious, political and other differences are mostly set aside during the festival. You could find a mechanic from Pretoria West sitting next to a lawyer from Sandton around the same camp fire talking kak or discussing how cool or kak a certain song by Nickelback or Springbok Nude Girls is. You could find yourself lost in the campsite (something you’ll experience at least twice during your pilgrimage to Oppikoppi) and ending up a random camp site and chances are that friendly people will hook you up with a cold Black Label or a bottle of Tassenberg (true story: really happened to me). You could end up meeting some of the coolest people that you’ll ever meet in your life. Fact is: I’ve met some of my best friends at the festival since 1998 and I’m sure that many of you reading have too. I’ve also never witness a fight or been in a fight at any of the Oppikoppi’s I’ve attended. People at the festival are generally friendly, in my opinion.
2) The Line-Up: The artists and bands that have been announced for Oppikoppi Sweet Thing so far is getting me truly amped up for the festival. 4 Main International acts have been announced for this year: Bullet for my Valentine (from Wales in the UK), Enter Shikari (also from the UK), Seether (from the USA) and Eagles of Death Metal (also from the USA). There have also been a few less well-known internationals announced (like the KONGOS who toured South Africa in late December 2011 and early 2012). Local acts for the festivals are looking good as well. So far Shadowclub, Bittereinder, Fokofpolisiekar, Jack Parow, Haezer, Thieve, Dance You’re On Fire, Sibot, Shotgun Tori, Jeremy Loops, the Make-Overs, PH Fat, aKING, Catlike Thieves, Baskerville, Lilly Million, BEAST, The Black Cat Bones, The Kiffness, Albert Frost, Flash Republic, Boargazm, Dub Saved My Life, Fridge Poetry, Newtown Knife Gang, Tribal Echo Band, Spoegwolf, Pestroy, The Sunday Punchers, Babylon Circus, Pascal & Pearce and Nakhane Toure have been announced for the festival. Pretty Kief Ne?
3) The Food: Let’s face it folks, there’s nothing like a camp breakfast at Oppikoppi. Frying some bacon and eggs and corned beef on a gas braai or in a pan on your camp fire or grabbing a breakfast roll from one of the food stands at the festival is pretty damn awesome. And there’s also nothing like sinking your teeth into a Burger Express Burger, Schwarma or roosterkoek from Kobus se Gat when you’re really hungry at the festival. Mark my words. Eating at least twice a day at Oppikoppi has saved my life on numerous occasions.
4) The Afterparties at the Oppikoppi Top Bar: There’s simply nothing like the vibe in the top bar at Oppikoppi. I’ve had some of the best parties of my life at this venue over the years. There’s nothing like ordering drinks between people’s stamping feet and singing along to some of your favorite tunes at the top bar. The bonus is that you might even bump into some famous folk there and end up having shots with them. It can get a bit crowded, but that has never stopped me from partying there after an awesome day of tunes at the festival. If you end up partying in the top bar after the evening’s music that you won’t get out of there before 2 AM (stamina and drunk level permitting of course). Fellow “festival junkies” will probably agree with me.
5) The taste of my first drink at the festival: Lets set a scene for this reason. You’ve just driven 2 or 3 hours (or 17 hours like one festival goer and his friends from Port Elizabeth last year). You’ve been cranking up tunes in your VW Beetle or other skedonk for this time period, resisting the urge to open your first beer. You finally get into the festival and before you even think about pitching your tent (which will be your home for the next 3 or 4 days) you open up that first beer for the weekend. There’s nothing like it on earth, I tell you. Just make sure that you pitch your tent before its dark, otherwise you might end up waking up in someone else’s tent or under a thorn tree in the middle of nowhere.
Well, there you have it. You’re probably more amped up for Oppikoppi Sweet Thing than you were before reading this post. Don’t forget to book your tickets to this festival early – tickets are bound to sell out (like they have in 2010 and 2011). To get your ticket to South Africa‘s premier music festival, head on over to the Standard Bank youth portal for your discounted R600 tickets. They supplement each ticket for the fans and you DO NOT have to be a Standard Bank client to make use of this service. You can also obtain tickets on the Oppikoppi Festival Facebook page for R700 or for R750 from Ticketbreak.
Feel free to drop me a comment and let me know what your reasons are why you are looking forward to this festival. Feedback is appreciated and welcome on Running Wolf’s Rant. Feel free to check out the posts in the Music, Opinion and other categories on this blog, you’re bound to find something you like.