Oppikoppi is more than just a festival, its an institution, a rite of passage for local musicians and fans alike and the scourge of lungs everywhere.

It’s a place of wonderous sunsets, mind-blowing music, the start of many friendships.

It also has the honour of playing host to one of the worst hangovers I’ve ever had.

In anticipation of this year’s Oppikoppi and all the fun we’re going to have, I’ve put together a few little tips on how NOT to bite the dust:

Don’t attempt to climb the koppie drunk

This should be self- explanatory but… well we’ve all been there. Its 12:30am, you’re half a bottle of tequila down and your confidence is up. You’ve decided to go to the Red Bull stage but, like many before you, to avoid the extra-long walk around and fuelled by liquid courage, you decide to embrace your inner Edmund Hillary and climb the koppie. Unfortunately, tequila doesn’t negate the effects of gravity and more often than not you’ll end up tumbling down, taking many unfortunate climbers with you along the way.

Make friends

What makes or breaks a festival often has a lot to do with the people who attend. In my experience, Oppikoppi has always been filled with amazing people who are just there to enjoy the music and have a good time. Don’t be an antisocial doos, take the time to get to know your fellow festival-goers, share a beer or three and make some great new friends.

Don’t forget a torch

The night is dark and full of terrors. Nowhere is this more accurate than at 2am on a Saturday night, when you’re drunkenly trying to find your way back to your tent (which is *somewhere* in Mordor) without a light. Having personally made this mistake one too many times: stumbling around in the dark, half frozen and trying in vain to use the moonlight to find my way… lets just say that bringing a torch should be a top priority.

Keep warm

Oppi days are deceptively warm, so warm in fact, that you may find yourself desperately seeking out any shade you can find and some water to drink. You shouldn’t, however, let this fool you because as soon as the sun sets, the temperature plummets. To avoid hypothermia and potentially losing a limb to frostbite, you’ll want to bring as many jackets as possible. Go for a world record in layering clothes. Don’t forget that extra blanket. I’ve also heard that sharing a sleeping bag helps.

Familiarise yourself with your campsite’s location

Mordor is a huge, seemingly endless maze of tents. Everywhere you look you’ll find a tent that looks like yours, a car that looks familiar or a bush that looks like the bush that was next to your campsite. In fact, have you even really experienced Oppi if you haven’t got horribly lost and wound up somewhere far, far from your campsite, having a beer with a sympathetic stranger? Take note of familiar landmarks (there’s always a flag nearby) and make a mental map of where your campsite is located in relation to the entertainment area. This probably wont help after a few beers… in which case maybe draw a map on your arm?

Don’t forget to bring your Fitbit

One thing you tend to do a lot of at Oppikoppi, is walk. Be it traversing the endless maze that is Mordor in search of the tent you thought was just around the corner; or just trekking from stage to stage in order to catch as many of your favourite music acts as possible, you’re going to be doing a lot of walking. This gives you the perfect opportunity to reach your daily step goals! You’ll break personal records and Discovery health will be so proud (just think of all the free smoothies).

Make the most of the music

One of the things I love about Oppikoppi is how it gives festival-goers the opportunity to listen to and find out about awesome new music and local artists who are changing the game. You may be rock music’s biggest fan, but the best advice I can give you is to go and watch acts you’ve never heard of and genres you don’t know. Take the time to appreciate artists you’d normally never watch. Find out just how amazing the South African music scene is, appreciate the diversity, the talent and how each and every artist has something unique to offer. Try listening to something new, you might just surprise yourself by enjoying it.

Sweat the small stuff… well stages

While it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the main stages, don’t forget to check out the smaller stages, like the Top Bar and DJ Bob’s Jazz Club. You’ll be surprised at how much fun you’ll have there and the awesome acts you’ll see, which you might otherwise have missed. The Top Bar is also the best place to be to watch the sunrise.

Lastly, watch out for rogue poos

It pains me to have to add this, but I must warn you of the dangers you may face. Every year Oppikoppi comes and goes and every year some unfortunate soul steps in a rogue poo, left perfectly positioned outside their tents by some nasty drunk person. I don’t know why this happens, but it does, so consider yourself warned.

See you at Oppikoppi 2018: Nomakanjani


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