Oppikoppi 2012 has come and gone and I've almost got all the dust out of my lungs. This years was one of my best and I don't really think any amount of blog posts could do it justice. The infrastructure, stages, Kreef Hotel, bands and brand activations have all been stepped up and the festival is fast becoming an international contender.
Nash was up there with Cuervo again this year which was lucky for me, as I got to enjoy all his perks. The Cuervo Deck was once again a haven where we spent most of our time and the addition of their App made the whole experience even better.
We arrived on Thursday and checked into our fantastic Caviar (tent) Suite at the newly expanded Kreef Hotel. If you've never stayed at the Kreef before, I urge you to invest in the experience next year. You arrive to your tent already set up and- depending on the package you go for, a stretcher bed, sleeping bag, pillow, a little cupboard and a light. Did I forget to mention that porters are on hand to carry your bags from your car to your tent? Hot showers, clean toilets, a full breakfast every morning, safe and secure cellphone charging stations, roaring bonfires at night and coffee on tap means that your whole festival experience is just that much easier.
Thursday night ended at around 2:30am for us and the freezing conditions meant that we were exceedingly grateful for the 5 sleeping bags we had between us. (Two from the Kreef, two we brought from home in case of below-0 conditions and one from Cuervo) We crawled into one together and piled the rest on top of us to try and keep the cold out. We had a +- comfortable night.
Friday was one of those 200 hour days- in a good way. We got to the Cuervo Deck bright and early and started the day as all good Fridays should: with a shot of orange-infused Cuervo with a dash of cinnamon. We watched some bands, explored a bit of Mordor and ran into numerous old festival friends. Around 6pm I apparently decided that I needed to get some sleep, so I headed back to the tent and apparently stopped off for a vetkoek.
I awoke at 12pm (Nash had joined me around 8pm) and could hear the first few verses of Fokofpolisiekar's show from my sleeping bag. With a good six hour power nap in my festival backpack, we layered up and joined throbbing crowd of at least 10 000 strong. It was one of the best Fokof performances I've seen and the past 9 years together are evident in the band's tight performance. I look forward to their 10 year celebration next year.
By 4:30am I was ready to leave the Klein Bar and hide inside my sleeping bag until morning.
It was bloody fantastic to start Saturday off with a hot shower and a full English before venturing back into the wilderness. We got caught up on the Cuervo Deck again but headed down to the stages to catch some of the bands. By the time Eagles Of Death Metal finished their set, our lungs had become saturated with dust and we had to make a speedy escape to the comfort of the tent lest our muddy lungs get permanent damage.
Saturday night was long and pretty uncomfortable and Nash maintained loudly that he couldn't breathe for all the dust and was desperate for an industrial strength gas mask. I'd left all my industrial strenght gas masks at home, so I offered him a pair of my panties to breathe through and this seemed to help his breathing because soon enough it was Sunday and time to head home and he was still alive.
We packed up early and were out of the gates before 8am, which is the best idea ever and definitely a tradition we will continue in years to come. After a two hour drive back to Joburg, I was happy to have a lengthy shower and healthy home-cooked meal at my folks house before our flight. Our travel companions had left a bit later and had spent 6 hours in traffic and narrowly escaped missing their flight.
By 7pm we were home and settled onto the couch. We managed a full 40 minutes of Dances With Wolves before we both passed out.
Highlights of Oppikoppi 2012
Southern Gypsy Queen from the Cuervo Deck
Bittereinder - One of my highlights of the festival for sure. It was incredible to see them move from the Klein Bar in 2011 to the main stage this year. Cannot wait to see more of them
Beast - Absolutely blew my mind. I didn't even dance or speak during their show. They were too mesmerizing.
Fruits and Veggies, who despite their ill thought-out name were really great
Dance You're On Fire
Black Handed Kites - These guys were fantastical. Two boys. Two instruments. Many feelings.
Eagles Of Death Metal - Especially the front man's unrestrained and genuine pouring out of love for South Africa and the festival.
- Staying in the Kreef
- Swimming in an ocean of Cuervo
- The packets of biltong being handed out on the Cuervo Deck every day
- Eating at the Potjiekos Hippies stand
- Seeing all the friends we never get to see
- Signing at the top of my lungs during Fokof's show
- Running into my friend X and laughing at the rather optimistic five (!!) condoms he was carrying
around with him. Also laughing at the fact that he was so drunk he was willing to eat carbs and
having the best time shouting "But you haven't had a carb in six years!" every time he took a bite of
his bread roll. Also, his drunkenness causing him to repeatedly flash his chest hair at me and ask me
to photograph it.
- Waking up at 12pm completely revitalized and ready for a big night
- The awesome setup at the festival this year. There were hardly any queues at all.
- Playing questionable fooseball with Coreen, Carl and Nash
- Legend Burgers at 1am
- Leaving early and not getting stuck in traffic
- Being treated really amazingly by the Brands Rock and Cuervo teams
- Charging stations everywhere so that I always had my iPhone on hand for
photographing/Tweeting/finding my tent using the App
- Chilling at the Ray-Ban village (Which, btw, was amazing. Camper vans and a fridge fully stocked
with Red Bull at all times. Private toilets. Amazing)
Lowlights of Oppikoppi 2012
- Sleeping through a whole bunch of the bands I really wanted to see including Jeremy Loops, Thieve,
AKing, Babylon Circus, Desmond & The Tutus :( :( :( The Frown, Jack Parow and Enter Shikari.
- The dust being the worst I've ever seen it and causing gross brown mud in all orifices
- Not getting enough time to eat at all the food stands I wanted to eat at (I didn't even have a single chip
- Somehow completely missing many of the friends I really wanted to see
- Not staying up on Saturday night because of the dust
- Apparently eating a vetkoek
|After 30 minutes at Oppikoppi|
|Legend Burgers. 1am.|
|@HelenRaine & @Stellllaaaaaaaa|
|@Stellllaaaaaaaa & @WeeRickyDee on the Cuervo Deck|
|@187pictures & @bangersandnash. Ray-Ban Village|
|@Ramfest living it up on the Cuervo Deck|
|0.5 Star Tent Hotel|
|Entrance to Kreef|
|And so it ends|
|Dusty. But alive.|
THANK YOU to Oppikoppi for another fantastic festival. Cuervo, Hilltop Live, Brands Rock - you are all hero's.