Oppikoppi Music Festival had some big boots to fill. Unfortunately for me I’ve seen what international music festivals look like when I went to Firefly Music Festival earlier on this year, click here to read that post. So in a sense I’ve been spoilt rotten by that experience because although you might not be aware of Firefly now I can tell you that it’s going to be East Coast’s answer to Coachella and Bonnaroo in the next few years and they take their position very seriously. So I kind of went from yoga, silent discos, gourmet food for media, hammock hangouts, lovely weather and a line-up which featured Red Hot Chili Peppers, Zedd, Foster the People, Kendrik Lamar and MGMT to desert cold, dust, cold showers, and a somewhat smaller line-up.
In the course of the past few days I realised that although Oppikoppi has a long way to go in terms of fan experience and line-ups it has something else which I haven’t quite found at any other festival that I’ve ever been to and I confirmed this with one of my friends who recently went to Bonnaroo. There’s something different about the culture that Oppikoppi creates for their people because everyone is super friendly and just ready to jam. Firefly and Bonnaroo are big festivals and somehow lack that atmosphere that will see you calling randoms into your camp to have shots with you or hoot at other dusty post-Oppikoppi cars when you see them in Pretoria. That culture is completely unique to Oppikoppi. I’m not going to lie, we do have a long way to go before becoming South Africa’s own world class festival. We shouldn’t deserve any less because we’re located south of the equator but Oppikoppi, hold onto that culture swag.
I’d just like to take the time out to thank Jose Cuervo, and those sips of my friends’ wine and beer, for one of the worst hangovers I have ever experienced in a public place. These guys sent me a bottle of their limited edition Reposado tequila and obviously with tequila not being sold at Oppikoppi this year meant that my camp site waved our Jose Cuervo freak flag high. There was tequila on Wednesday night and an empty bottle on Thursday morning. You guys rock so much and we miss you at Oppikoppi.
The line-up wasn’t that great, I felt dirtier than usual and most of my friends couldn’t make it. But I, and I think a lot of people, feel that this year’s Oppikoppi just had something about it. It had a certain intangible aura that made it the best Oppikoppi that I/we have ever been to. That aura filled up all the holes caused by the shortcomings to the point that it overflowed. I’m not a nostalgic man but I will hold this Oppikoppi in a special place in my mind and heart.
Could I perhaps take a moment to mention my love of the Deftones and hoe bewildered I was seeing them live? Further more, how exceptional was their performance, it exuberated that dark, sexy energy that crept out of their music and surrounded me. It was one of the best rock performances I have ever seen, and I personally thank the organizers for bringing them here. I would have never thought of seeing them live in this country and now a life goal has been pleasantly ascertained. Apart from that I would like to take another moment in saying how surprised I was at DJ Naaldekokers’s set – it was hard… like unexpectedly hard, and as such, pretty awesome. That satisfied both my alternative metal/rock/rap/vampire sex music side and my electro loving woo-girl side, and that was enough to validate this Oppikoppi in my mind’s eye. The rest of the talent that I watched; Guanaco, Christian Tiger School, Jet Black Camero, Jeremy Loops, Grimehouse and Das Kapital were filler, albeit tasty tasty filler. I’m already sold for the next Oppikoppi. And those of you that didn’t attend – shame on you.