Music flowing through the dusty streets, the crackling sound of fire and joyful sounds of laughter filling the air with people replying, ”Koppi!” whenever someone says, “Oppi!”, you are in the republic of Oppikoppi. Every year thousands flock to the little town of Northam and the Oppikoppi farm. OppiKoppi is one of the biggest, most culturally and musically diverse music festivals in South Africa. With genres ranging from acoustic to heavy metal, hip hop to deep house, this festival will meet anyone’s needs.
Oppikoppi 22 took place from August 5-7. The music festival was successful with 20 000 people rocking up to take it in. Oppikoppi never disappoints with acts like Yelawolf, Kongos, Fokofpolisiekar, Jack Parow, Prime Circle, Bittereinder and Ricky Rick, to name a few. The comedy stage hosted top comedians like, Melt Sieberhagen, Schalk Bezuidenhout and Laz Gola, cracking people up with laughter. There was also the travelling Wasgoed stage which moves through the camp sites while a band is performing on it. Shortstraw hosted Oppiboosh, which is an event they created where bands play on a stage hosting a Caribbean bash theme, having people dance and enjoy the festive feeling. Fokofpolisiekar’s show was part of their 10-year reunion tour of their Swanesang album. The iconic band has been here since the early days of Oppikoppi and always enjoys being there. This year Fokofpolisiekar rocked the people with some of their biggest hits. US acts, the Kongos and Yelawolf attracted big crowds and had epic shows as they brought the last night on the main stage to a close. Poetry sessions pleased those who were looking for something on the deeper side of life or just felt they needed more words than music. The Red Bull stage kept people going throughout the night with the more electronic kind of music as the DJs kept people on their feet.
Being on a farm, this 3-day festival requires camping. Whether you book your stay at one of the tent hotels or bring your own tent, you are going to enjoy the fun of nothing but tent canvas between you and the outside world. That is if you want to sleep, as some people suffer from a severe case of FOMO (fear of missing out). If you suffer from FOMO, you better bring something to counteract it as there are so many stages with so many different acts that it would be impossible to watch it all. Oppikoppi has 7 stages where musicians are constantly strutting their stuff and a comedy stage where comedians are making people laugh. In total there are 8 stages full of constant entertainment! Choose what you are into, sit there, stand there, sing along, head bang or just chill along with the sounds of your favourite entertainers.
Bars and beer tents are all around the stages, so you never run dry. If you need energising, buy some food from a variety of food stalls, point is: at Oppikoppi if you are hungry or thirsty, only you are to blame. The organisers made it easy with the cashless system. You load money on a card and then you use the card to buy anything, even official Oppikoppi merchandise. You can bring your own food and drink too, if you prefer, and it is always important to remember to bring water as the days get hot and you get active while supporting the performing bands.
The people are one of the key elements that make Oppikoppi what it is. Costumes, body paint, face paint and funny props rule the weekend as the people get to unwind and let loose. Join in, dress up, paint yourself and get into the spirit of Oppi. Snatch photos with your friends and everyone else and get remembered. The citizens of the Republic of Oppikoppi are full of life, full of love and surely full of adventure as the annual Oppikoppi naked run took place, attracting some wild-hearted contestants and even more spectators, which is a highlight annually. If you are brave enough to let your clothes fly and run along, you will surely have a story to tell! Meeting new people and making new friends are synonymous to this festival as the festive atmosphere constantly hangs around throughout, don’t just sit there! Make your circle bigger!
Oppikoppi is just as big a part of South Africa’s heritage as biltong and braais. It has become something people put on their bucket list. Oppikoppi is an experience which will stay with you for the rest of your life.
OppiKoppi. In dust we trust. Until next year.