Oppikoppi 2012: Crazy, filthy, sweet fun!

VANESSA SMEETS

Oppikoppi magic as Eagles of Death Metal play

OPPI MAGIC: Oppikoppi magic as Eagles of Death Metal play Copyright: VE Smeets

South Africa’s hottest music festival during the coldest time of year beat all records this year, in its 18-year existence. Just a few days before, Gauteng was celebrating its first winter wonderland in 30 years, with lions at Joburg Zoo captured playing in the snow.

Happy audience

CHEERFUL CROWD: The audience goes crazy for the Kongos who finally got through their technical difficulties. Copyright: VE Smeets

The theme for this year “Sweet Thing” gathered an estimated 23 000 fans to celebrate over 100 acts in SA’s finest music (including Fokofpolisiekar, aKing, 340ml, Bittereinder, BLK JKS) and international acts like Seether, Bullet for my Valentine, Enter Shikari and Eagles of Death Metal.
Click here for a full list view.

Oppikoppi comes from Afrikaans slang, translated as “on the hill.” Those brave enough to walk up the hill drunk or stoned, are greeted by a beautiful view of the campsite and a few more hidden stages. The festival includes three nights of camping in dust and thorn bushes, surrounded by friendly strangers. You also have the choice of staying at the Kreef Hotel for an extra R1000 and may even bump into your favourite band members. Expect to pay between R600-R750 for a ticket, R500 on a tent and R400-R500 on booze and food.

The Kongos ft Jack Parow

IN DIE F*KKEN HUISIE: Jack Parow does a surprise act with the Kongos, much to the crowd’s delight. Copyright: VE Smeets

This year’s festival even included a collection of short films, an extra stage, a sand-art competition (on audience members’ cars… No, that huge phallus was not sand art, but that beautiful baobab and eye were), colourful couches (apparently if yours was cool enough you could join band members backstage), free pancakes and coffee served by the Red Frogs (made up by members from various churches from Pretoria and Joburg) and the unexpected surprise acts doing duets with others (Jack Parow singing with the Kongos drove the crowd wild).

If you were lucky (or unlucky) enough, you could witness drug dealers getting busted in your camping area. One guy at our site shouted at the cop who was dressed like a civilian: “I’m just a user!” as he removed his back-pack filled with marijuana and other goodies. They even kindly packed away his tent for him. Or, you could even be part of a movie… My friend and I were shouted at with “Cuuuuuut!” for helping out a guy covered in “blood.”

The worst part of Oppikoppi?

The endless queues; whether you’re waiting to go in, come out, get food or go to the toilet. But that’s how you meet people from all walks of life, from the banker in Sandton to the street vendor from Cape Town.

The best part ?

Apart from being part of a mosh-pit or noticed by your favourite lead singer, is the treasure-hunting afterwards. If you wait till noon Sunday (when most people are sitting in their cars in an endless queue), you could pick up an abandoned tent (zipper can be fixed), a cooler-box, a few Energades, the Cuervo ring you really wanted, etc.

Seether Shaun Morgan2

HOME SWEET HOME: Seether’s lead singer Shaun Morgan (aka Welgemoed) plays his best on home soil. Copyright: VE Smeets

The regulars like Henno Kruger (a photographer who has been to 14 Oppis) really enjoyed Wesley’s Dome and the Top Bar: “It was by far one of the best Oppis… Highlights included the international acts, Southern Gypsey Queen tribute, Yoav, Beast, Black Cat Bones and no disappointments.”

As an “Oppi virgin” as they love teasing us, I can safely say it was one of the most mind-blowing experiences of my life. Be prepared to see yourself at your craziest, filthiest, most joyous self and others at their most raw and naked.

Your friendships may bond over hours of endless drinking or dissolve after one gig they refused to go watch with you. You will probably bump into a guy dressed as Borat, see your best friend’s girlfriend flash her breasts on his shoulders or on stage and hear voices from the heavens.

These tend to be the naked, tripping guys who decided to climb a thorn tree to discuss the weather. Enjoy!

The video to prove it all:

Oppi fashion Borat style

OPPI FASHION: One of the main highlights of the Oppikoppi festival has to be the fashion. Be prepared to see anything imaginable! Copyright: VE Smeets

Highlights:

  • One Night in Cape Town party: Cape Townians got to rock out the night before the actual Oppi festivities started and see most international acts before the rest of us.
  • The old boys from the PBHS pipe-band adding some Scottish tunes to the weekend of debauchery…
  • Bullet for my Valentine playing the national anthem “Nkosi Sikelel iAfrika” on their guitar. The crowd sang along in unison!
  • The crowd cheering “Saron Gas! Saron Gas!” before Seether went on stage. Lead singer Shaun Morgan (a South African) charmingly replied: “Yeah, I always knew that was a cool name!”
  • Seether breaking their guitar on stage, throwing the fragments into the cheering crowd.
  • SA’s favourites Fokofpolisiekar making the earth tremble and grown men cry!
The naked run

TOO SMALL: The Naked Run was a tad disappointing, with only about a dozen guys participating in the first of its kind in Oppi history. Copyright: VE Smeets

Disappointments:

  • “The naked run:” only a dozen or so guys took part because of the changes in time (11h30 instead of 12pm) and distance (from 1km to 500m).
  • The giant floating balls: a nuisance for photographers and tall people. Some people ended up piercing them with their car-keys, causing drunkards to use them as cushions. A scary sight when they looked suffocated, after passing out on them.
  • The Cuervo collection desk. So every time you bought a Tequila slush, you got a ticket. You excitedly go to the collection counter only to be told by some bad-mood blonde to come back later.
  • Lack of communication with the crowd. The black and yellow Cuervo wristbands had an ID number at the back. Apparently there was a huge draw but when and where?!?
  • Last minute cancellations or changes (obviously unforeseen by Hilltop Live, those in charge).

Checklist:

  1. Your ticket and ID
  2. A pair of shorts (it reaches past 30 degrees in the day)
  3. Gumboots (you will end up throwing away whichever shoes you bring with)
  4. A map of the camping site (cleverly print it onto your shirt perhaps)
  5. A few shirts (you will win many more)
  6. A warm jacket, beanie and cool hat (so your friends can spot you from afar. Everyone starts looking the same after two days with the Cuervo straw hat)
  7. Lots of water (for drinking, cleaning, brushing your teeth)

    Creative campsite

    CREATIVITY: Don’t forget something creative to decorate your campsite with… Copyright: VE Smeets

  8. A large water bottle to hold your booze (cans and glass bottles are forbidden in the entertainment area)
  9. An old cellphone (your smartphone will definitely get lost, stolen or extremely dirty). OId Nokia batteries last much longer anyway.
  10. Plasters (those thorn bushes are a nuisance when you stumble back to your tent in the middle of the night)
  11. Snacks. The food stalls are pretty expensive. Expect to pay R50-R90 for a burger and R38 for a pancake (rather go get a free one from the church people!)
  12. SPF cream, sunglasses, money for food and petrol. Money can be loaded on a card for food and more booze. Be advised don’t put all your R500 on a card. It may get lost or slip out of the plastic sleeve. Leftover money can be used next year or be exchanged this year for airtime
  13. Sleeping bag, pillow, extra blankets (brandy will only keep you warm for so long)
  14. A torch and toilet paper (those portable toilets are a nightmare in the dark)

Check out the awesome Oppikoppi site here!

Searching for satisfaction…

VANESSA SMEETS

A look on the 5 type of guys to avoid and how to enjoy singledom…

singleness

LIVING COLOUR: Your colourful past, certainly makes way for a brighter future. PIC: Online

You’re in your late twenties or early thirties, everyone around you is either getting married or having kids.

The best thing about being single? Less questions on where you were.
The worst? More questions on where you’re going…

There’s a lot of pressure on women of today to, as well as having a fulfilling career, be romantically fulfilled as well. No matter how independent or well she’s been doing.

This leads to her falling desperately for the wrong type of men, starting with…

The Ex

Things ended because he moved away and you had to pursue a career or studies. You both still like each other and still secretly have virtual sex. Big mistake. The truth hits you when pictures of his new girlfriend show up on Facebook. Delete that chapter. Delete him. For good, this time…

This new chapter leads you to…

The Rebound

Why I'm single

The honest truth… PIC: Online

You meet him at a bar, share a few beers. The attraction is pretty insane. The sex turns out to be mind-blowing, but you have absolutely nothing else in common. Stop having sex, it’s preventing you from meeting someone more worthwhile.

However, your loneliness leads you to that elusive…

The One-Night Stand

Out of the blue, you meet someone incredibly smart and attractive. Problem is, you’re still not emotionally ready, so you come across as desperate and smothering. You end up liking him too soon, not knowing this is the type of guy to lose interest when things become too sexual. In a moment of passion, you end up sleeping together. The sex turns out to be average, but you’re kind of determined to find out where this could lead. He, however, is not:

“Listen, I’m not blown away by you. That was fun, but that’s all it’ll remain. Have a nice life.”

You feel like a dirty tramp and turn to…

single dilemma

The flying solo dilemma… PIC: Online

The Best Friend

He’s liked you for years, but you’ve kept your distance. After all, could there not just be one platonic male presence in your life, for goodness sake? After hours of crying on his shoulder for the umpteenth time, you look into his kind, genuine eyes and end up making out. The next time you see him, it’s really awkward, so you end up flirting with…

The Colleague

He’s the guy kind enough to offer you a lift to work or leave post-its while you’re out on a smoke break. Mixing business with pleasure has as many perks as risks. You two soon become office talk.

It’s time to break the vicious cycle many women find themselves in and rather embrace singledom.
In the words of Sex and the City:

“Some people are settling down, some people are settling for less and some people refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies.”

Things to embrace while you’re single:

men to avoid

  • Flirt shamelessly with strangers. It’s okay to practice… Practice makes perfect. Just avoid taking them home.
  • Explore the world. Finally you can go on that Contiki tour with your best friend! Do it!
  • Take up new and strange hobbies. Start pole-dancing, hip-hopping, silk painting… You’ll certainly be more interesting to the next lucky fish.
  • Become adventurous without inhibitions. Take up that job offer in South Korea! Go become a photographer on a cruise ship! Au pair while you still can! So many more stories to tell…
  • Focus on what you want, not what you need. Neediness is unattractive. Want is ambitious. Not keen on divorce? Don’t marry that average guy from the dentist’s office.
  • “Water” your friendships. The Sims illustrated this part of social life perfectly. Remember that girlfriend you stopped hearing about once she got hitched? You’ve become her, without the ring. Catch up with a cocktail party or ladies’ night. Liking their Facebook status is simply not enough, by the way.
  • Realize that marriage is more than just a piece of paper, it’s for life. Could you really marry that rebound guy that litters your place with dirty dishes?
  • Play safe. So your heart is broken, wait till you’re emotionally ready to take up something physical. Getting physical too soon means the next guy won’t have time to get to know you on an emotional scale.
  • Keep a diary of your weaknesses, as well as your achievements. Some guys are mean to girls in order to move on more easily, don’t take all their insults to heart. However, if all relationships ended because you were obsessed with your girlfriends or cat, it may be time to overthink some things.
  • Stop complaining, start living. Remember Carrie’s addiction…nagging on and on about Mr Big? So unattractive, even to your closest friends.
  • Find your inner child. He used to steal your lunch, now he’s stolen your dreams. He used to flirt with the teacher, now he flirts with your best friend. Move on. Mr Nice (yet Good-looking) Guy exists… Someone wise once wrote: “Nice guys always finish last, but isn’t that what women want in the end?”