Last weekend I went to Oppikoppi 2018 Nomakanjani. It was the 20th time that I made my way to this festival and I have to admit that it was one of the better ones that I attended in recently years.
Because this was my 20th time attending this festival, I have decided to point out 20 things that I’ll remember when I think of this year’s Oppikoppi. 19 of them are good things and 1 of them is a bad thing.
1. I’ll remember that I didn’t learn my lesson – I went big on the first night at Oppikoppi 2018 Nomakanjani
Yes folks, I had a bad case of “First Night Festival Syndrome” and went a little bit big on the first night. Don’t judge me, it happens. Ask anyone that has been to multiple festivals and they’ll tell you that this is normal. It was a lot of fun, but the hangover wasn’t as much fun the next day. I blame the dark rum (thanks Harry) and the multiple tequila shots (thanks Jolene).
2. I’ll remember that I watched some pretty awesome acts on the Thursday
I had my first drink of the festival at the Top Bar while we were watching Tim Edwards’ set. I also checked out Wolfgang Marrow, No Comply, The George, Frame Janko, Stoker, The Black Cat Bones, Southern Wild, Satanic Dagga Orgy, Crimson House, Akkedis and Son of Hawk and a bit of #SOZLOL on Thursday.
I enjoyed every single artist that I watched, but Thursday’s highlight (by a country mile) was definitely Son of Hawk. These rockers (who are based in Jeffrey’s Bay in the Eastern Cape) completely blew me away.
3. I’ll remember that I carried 3 bananas up to the Top Bar at 10 AM on Friday
I had an early start on the Friday morning. We ended up at the Top Bar stage at 9:30 AM for a breakfast beer, but they weren’t open yet. My camp mates wanted some bananas for breakfast, so I walked back to Mordor, fetched it and walked back, just in time to catch Die Horries‘ set. My timing was perfect – the bar was open when I got back.
4. I’ll remember that I checked out some pretty cool acts on the Friday
Besides Die Horries, I also checked out Zebra, The Barbosa Experience, Stone Jets, Dawn Brothers (from The Netherlands), Van Pletzen, Grassy Spark, Wonderboom, Crash Car Burn and Strait-Jackal‘s sets.
There were two highlights for me on Friday: The Barbosa Experience‘s first ever set at Oppikoppi (which had people from all cultures dancing around and singing along in no time) and Wonderboom‘s set (which attracted a massive crowd at the Top Bar Stage).
5. I’ll remember that I found out that Steve East could totally pursue a career as horse racing commentator (if he really wanted to)
During Stone Jets‘ set on Friday, Steve East pulled 4 of us into a horse racing card game thing-a-majic and started doing commentary on it (like an expert does at the Durban July). I was impressed.
6. I’ll remember that Steve East could also be a full-time magician (if he really wanted to)
Before showcasing his horse racing commentary talent, Steve East did a few card tricks and Henry Engelbrecht magically appeared with a round Jack Daniels shots for our whole group. Who says magic isn’t real?
7. I’ll remember watching and hearing The Barbosa Experience‘s version of Brenda Fassie’s “Nomakanjani” at the Top Bar stage
It was totally amazeballs and I’m glad I got to experience it. I already wrote a detailed piece about this, so feel free to check out my write-up and the video that I posted.
8. I’ll remember that I discovered Dawn Brothers at Oppikoppi 2018 Nomakanjani
It’s not often that one discovers and enjoys a rock band from the Netherlands at a South African music festival. Thanks to Jolene and Steve (who pulled me and Emile down the hill) to watch them – they were definitely my Friday soul food at Oppikoppi 2018.
9. I’ll remember that I watched a ton of amazing acts on the Saturday
My Saturday at Oppikoppi 2018 Nomakanjani started out with breakfast beers at our campsite, some breakfast chow and a bit of Sea of Green. I also checked out Bad Peter, Brynn, Hellcats, BLK JKS, Cockles, Fokofpolisiekar and Bed on Bricks.
I have three highlights for the Saturday: Brynn (who completely blew me away with an amazing set), Hellcats (who nearly broke the Top Bar Stage with a kick-ass show) and Fokofpolisiekar (who really brought their A-game to the James Phillips stage).
10. I’ll remember that Jay and Monique helped me to get onto the MTN deck to take awesome photos of the festival.
To gain access to the MTN Deck (previously used by former sponsors like Captain Morgan and Jose Cuervo) you needed to download a MTN app onto your phone. Jay and Monique told me about this and whallah – I took this photo of the festival while I was on the deck.
11. I’ll remember the couch we had in our campsite at Oppikoppi 2018 Nomakanjani
I can’t remember when I actually took this photo of the couch in our campsite, but I just had to. Just look at how awesome it is. If you were at the festival, you probably spotted it in front of the main stage – they carried it there.
12. I’ll remember that I walked far on the 3 days that I spent there
Even though there were 2 less stages than last year I still managed to walk 1 km further than I did in 2017. Yes folks, I walked +/- 46 km over 3 days at this year’s festival. I think half of that distance was probably between the Main Stage / Bruilof stage and the Top Bar stage. I climbed that damn hill at least 5-7 times a day. That has to be a record for me. Who says you can’t get fit at festivals?
13. I’ll remember the sunset on the Saturday at Oppikoppi 2018 Nomakanjani
Before I made my final mission to the festival area on Saturday, I spent some time at our campsite. I was getting a beer from the car and then I noticed the sunset (which was just incredibly beautiful).
14. I’ll remember that I realized that glow sticks also have the ability to enhance a rock show
The crowd received some glow sticks during the Hellcats set at the Top Bar stage. Someone threw one of them onto the thatched roof of the stage and found out that they actually stick. I didn’t take the crowd long to realize this. By the end of the their set, the stage roof was covered in glow sticks.
15. I’ll remember that I never waited longer than 5 minutes for a drink at the top bar
I have to give a shout-out to the top bar staff at Oppikoppi 2018 Nomakanjani. Even though they were dealing with a lot more people than they usually do, their service was excellent. Thanks for enhancing our festival experience.
16. I’ll remember that I should read the instructions that my camera decides to give me
On Friday morning I couldn’t understand why my Canon 60D camera didn’t want to work. The shutter was stuck and I kept trying to fix it, ignoring the error messages that was popping up on its display screen.
About 3 hours into the day I decided to read the error message, took out the battery and replaced and whallah – it was working fine again. I still need an upgrade though.
17. I’ll remember that I managed NOT to get lost on the Oppikoppi farm for the 8th year in a row
The last time I got lost in Mordor on the Oppikoppi farm was in 2010. I have to admit that I have managed NOT to get lost for the 8th year in a row. That has to be some kind of record, right?
18. I’ll remember that I managed to do an Oppikoppi even though I forgot some essentials at home
When we left Pretoria I realized that I had forgotten my tent at home when we were picking up my friend Nikita at her place. Luckily she had a spare tent I could borrow for the weekend.
On Friday morning whilst recovering from Thursday’s mayhem, I realized that we had left 18 Beers at home in my friend Nino’s car. Turns out that he only packed over the things that we were in his boot (not the things behind his seat). Those beers did go down well when I got home though. I’d like to thank Nino and Nikita for saving my ass.
19. I’ll remember that I wanted to kick myself for missing some of the best performances on the weekend
Sadly I missed Vulvodynia, OhGod, Spoegwolf, Retro Dizzy, Bongeziwe Mabandla, Werner Bekker and Oliver Mtukudzi’s sets at Oppikoppi 2018 Nomakanjani. Guess I’ll have to make up for it some time.
20. I’ll remember that there was crime at Oppikoppi 2018 Nomakanjani
This is the only bad memory I have… A pickpocket syndicate targeted festival goers and stole more than 80 phones. 12 members were arrested over the weekend and some stolen phones were found in their possession. Extra security and plain-clothes police were brought in to curb the crime.
I’ve never been a victim of crime at Oppikoppi. Some of my friends were victims though. Friend’s phones were stolen campsite’s were ransacked.
“Is this the organizer’s fault?” Nope, it’s a sign of a times. Gate ticket sales were stopped to stop criminals from driving in, stealing people’s stuff and driving out. The criminals bought their tickets just like anyone else. There was no way they could’ve predicted this.
“Can this be prevented?” Yes, fencing of parts of the camping area could restrict movement. Plain clothes marshalls / security patrolling Mordor could also be a good idea. And I hate to say it, but adding some lights in Mordor could also discourage criminals from committing crimes. Where there is a will, there’s a way.
Crime is a problem at many of he world’s festivals and there’s no way to predict what criminals will get up to, but I’m confident that the organizers will find a way to reduce crime at future editions of Oppikoppi.
Kudos to Matchbox Live (the organizers) and everyone else involved in the festival for going back to basics and delivering another memorable Oppikoppi. I’m curious to see what you’ll get up to next year.
What will you remember about Oppikoppi 2018 Nomakanjani? Leave a comment below and let me know. Feedback is appreciated and welcome here.
Watch this space for regular updates in the Music category on Running Wolf’s Rant.
Blogger, Desktop Activist, Twitter / Facebook Addict, Music Festival Addict, Avid lover of South African music, Founder and owner of Running Wolf’s Rant