5 Stories from Oppikoppi Festivals of Yesteryear

There are 23 days left before Oppikoppi 2012 Sweet Thing kicks off on the farm near Northam on the 9th of August. It will be the 18th year in a row that Oppikoppi is held in South Africa.

I will be making my way to my 14th Oppikoppi festival this year. If you were wondering: 3 of those were Easter festivals and that amount does not make me “a legend” – I have friends who have been more than 15 or more of them.  Oppikoppi has become South Africa’s must-go-to festival over the last few years. It has become extremely popular. The last two festival’s tickets sold out and this year’s tickets will probably sell out too – something that has never happened in Oppikoppi history before 2010.

Over the years I’ve experienced some really interesting things at the festival, things that you don’t experience every day of your life. There is always a story to tell after each Oppikoppi and its one of the reasons why I love it so much. Today I’d like to share 5 stories from Oppikoppi Festivals of Yesteryear with you.

Oppikoppi 2011

The Roadblock Incident (1998): I camped with a bunch of friends from Pretoria at my first Oppikoppi in this year. We got there on the night before the festival. Luckily someone saved a spot for us in Oom Piet se Duikweg. Our breakfast the one morning consisted of Rum and Coke and 2 kg Biltong (between 5 guys), our morning shower was a quick run under the tap of the water truck when it passed our campsite. I also remember washing my hair with swimming pool water at one stage. But what I do recall the best is the “roadblock incident”. The guys in our camp ran out of beer and decided that we needed to make a plan. We took some our excess chevron tape and started blocking off the road as people were passing by our campsite. We asked them what their favorite band was and it didn’t matter what they answered, we asked each car passing for one beer. We ended up with 3 cases in about 2 hours and the weekend was saved.

The Leg Burning Incident (2001): We camped very close to the river at Fountains Valley and it was one of the coldest Oppikoppi’s I’ve ever experienced. The one night we made a group effort and missioned around the campsite looking for some new friends. One of the blokes in our party ended up with “scepter” which turned out to be a paraffin lamp. He bragged about being “the kaizer” and ended up stoking the flames in our camp fire, accidently causing the one girl’s jean to catch fire. We put it out, but the girl had to go to the doctor the next day. Needless to say, the bloke felt very bad about. Even though the chick was pissed off, and injured she came back to festival with her crutches. We made turns abba-ing her to the stage area and back and she didn’t miss any of the bands she wanted to see that year.

The Lost Tentpen Situation (2006/2007): I had to get a lift from a random dude to Oppikoppi in 2006. All my friend’s cars were full. I ended up camping with random folks, 100m from a bunch of my closest friends, and 500-600m from 2 other friend-filled campsites. I ended up losing my cell phone battery at one of the stages and getting lost for an hour. Despite all of this inconvenience I still had one major jol at the festival. I borrowed random dude’s spare pair of Adidas shades for the weekend (which he eventually gave to me just before he left the festival). Random dude forgot his tent pens at our campsite, so I picked them up and took them back to Pretoria with me. A year later he phoned me and asked me if I still had them. He gathered them from me in 2007 when they drove into the camping area and was able to pitch his tent.

The Feet Licking Dare (2007): We were a huge group of people that year. There were more than 20 tents in our camp site. 2 of my crazy friends from Middelburg in Mpumalanga were on a mission on day 2 of the festival. First they dared our one friend that he would not eat half a raw onion like an apple for R250. He finished it, and they had to pay up. Then they dared anyone in our camp site that they would not lick our one friend’s feet for R400. That friend had been wearing the same slops for 2 days and his feet was extremely dirty. 2 of the girls in our camp site were out of drinking money and took to this task, each tackling one of his feet with their tongues. 3 friends rushed off into the bush to vomit, and we caught the whole incident on video. And yes its on YouTube (if you were wondering).

Saved by the Oppikoppi Cowboy (2010): My friend Sara and I arrived at Oppikoppi at night time, forcing us to pitch our tents and make our way to the stage ASAP to catch some of the excellent music on offer. We didn’t really bother to note where our tents were and proceeded partying our asses off till midnight at the top bar. We eventually got lost for 6 hours on the farm (a record for your’s truly) trying to find our camp site. Eventually we gave up, phoned a friend (who shall forever be known as the Oppikoppi Cowboy) and drove around till we found our camp site. It turns out that the one left turn we refused to take the whole time would have led us to our camp site. I also recall hearing all the people lost in Freedom Avenue refer to it as “The Long Road to Freedom”. Getting no sleep on night one of the festival didn’t deter our spirit and we ended up having one of the greatest Oppikoppi festivals we’ve ever experienced.

There you have it, 5 stories from Oppikoppi festivals of Yesteryear. If you have a story to share, please comment on this post and share it with the readers of Running Wolf’s Rant. If you’ve enjoyed reading this post, please share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.

If you want to get an idea of how much I’m looking forward to this festival, check out my post featuring 5 Reasons Why I am looking forward to Oppikoppi This Year. Warning: This might just get you extremely excited.

Don’t forget to book your tickets to this festival early. 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.

Watch this space for regular updates in the Music, Events and Opinion categories on Running Wolf’s Rant.

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Henno Kruger
Blogger, Desktop Activist, Twitter / Facebook Addict, Music Festival Addict, Avid lover of South African music, Founder and owner of Running Wolf's Rant and co-founder of SA Music Zone
Henno Kruger

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