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Oppikoppi Virgins: How was it for you?

2007-08-15 16:53
Meet them:

Chris Roper: Columnist, art critic, music critic, and guy who’s been on the scene for years but has somehow evaded SA’s biggest music fest. He’s also 24.com Editor.

Chris McEvoy: He took our pictures and some of our beer. He is a writer by trade, and some of you may remember him as a stand-up comic with a razor-sharp dark side.

Lynsee Melchi: Odd name? That’s because she’s an American. She’s a music lover interned at Tuks radio, and so naturally would do anything – anything – to get out of Pretoria. Or so she said.

Here’s how it was for them:

How was your first time?
Chris Roper: Long, hot and dusty.
Chris McEvoy: The amount of dirt involved was overwhelming. You've heard of good clean dirty fun? Well, this was good filthy dirty fun.
Lynsee Melchi: I had a really good time! It was nice to see a bunch of bands (Fokofpolisiekar, Zulu Boy, Sweat X, Koos Kombuis, etc.) that I have read about, but haven't had the chance to see yet. It was a really nice buffet of music for me! And I got to check out a number of people I've never heard of before.

What music was playing?
Chris R: The Kwassie Experience. Nice band. There sure are a lot of them.
Chris M: There was a bit of everything. I got off on the Black Hotels, Architects of Aggression, Strings and Skins, and an impromptu drummers' circle session that just happened to take place at the right time. But when I'm at home I usually just dim the lights, pour the red and crank up Metal Machine Music by Lou Reed.
Lynsee: Gosh...how much time do you have? I saw at least 5 acts each day, but probably more like 8-9 acts a day. Thursday I saw all or part of: The wedding DJs, Unit R, Love Jones, Jimmy Eat World, Youngblood Brass Band, Lark, Blunted Stuntmen, Groove Armada, Violent Femmes, Sweat X, Fokofpolisiekar, and Stanton Warriors. Friday: Koos Kombuis, Chris Chameleon, Push and Shove, Paul Riekert and Anton L'amour...and probably a few others I can't remember. Saturday: Desmond and the Tutus, 7th son, Strings and Skins, some guys from Napalma, kid fonque, DJ Kenzhero, HHP, Selaelo Selota, Zuluboy, Kwani Experience, Tidal Waves, Angel. My absolute fav though was Sweat X... those boys are off the hook!

Are you glad you waited as long as you did?
Chris R: Yes, my spirit guide told me to wait until I felt I could really commit.
Chris M: I don't wait. I stalk.
Lynsee: This sort of doesn't apply to me because I never knew Oppikoppi existed until this year...since I'm from the USA and all. So I don't really know how to answer this question.

Any injuries – did it hurt? Did you use protection of any kind?
Chris R: Of course it hurt. I used a tent, but frankly, getting into that thing is way too much effort when you’re drunk.
Chris M: I received the biggest hicky of my life - which I took as a compliment. I also walked into a thorn tree (twice), sustaining a bleeding head wound in one case. I also caught a head cold from someone who told me her froggy voice was the result of cheering and screaming at the Fokofpoliesikar set. Liar. I was slammed into by headbangers, squashed against stage railings and had beer poured over my head. And yes, a lot of it hurt, but I regret nothing.
Lynsee: Ummm...I did fall in a hole but it was dark, I was drunk, and walking alone. I don't like flashlights and so sometimes I fall in holes. It's a price I'm willing to pay to enjoy the dark! I just got a bruise... so I survived. I didn't use any protection of any sort. I just took all the dust like the woman I am! I knew it was going to be thorny veld and dust... but DANG! Every single bush was out to get you! It was nuts.

Did you enjoy parts of it, or did you just want to get it over with?
Chris R: The whole thing was wonderful. Well… there’s the obvious morning after regrets, but it only lasts until your first bacon and egg pita.
Chris M: If you're not going to enjoy it, there's no point in doing it. I was sad when it was over. After a good night's sleep and a long hot bath, I'd be quite happy to do the whole thing again.
Lynsee: Oppikoppi wasn't really about "getting it over with" for me. I have been to a few fests at home and have been to one other fest in SA (Southern Cross in KZN). I just wanted to see what Oppikoppi had to offer. I work at TuksFM and so everyone has been talking about it at the station since I started working there. I just had to check it out.

Were you drunk at the time?
Chris R: Not at all. No. Never touched a drop.
Chris M: Most of the time - but I remained functional.
Lynsee: Drunk at what time? I wasn't wildly drunk all the time, but a cold beer in a hot dusty environment is a mighty beautiful thing. I'll admit I got a bit sauced at the ends of the nights, but I was far less drunk than I thought I was going to be. Hey, I'm cool with that.

Will you see the people involved again?
Chris R: They’ve all gone on to stellar careers.
Chris M: Some of them, I hope. Others, I hope not.
Lynsee: For sure! I am eager to check out: Desmond and the Tutus, Sweat X, Strings and Skins, 340ml (cos I missed them), Karen Zoid (cos I missed her), 7th Son, Kwani Experience, Zubz, Harris Tweed...and more. Some because I missed them and had wanted to see them and some because I would love to check them again minus the madness of a festival.

And will you go back for more, do you think?
Chris R: Well, you have to, don’t you? It’s love.
Chris M: Oh, yes.
Lynsee: If I have the chance to, I will probably go back to Oppikoppi next year. Also depends on the lineup ;) I was fortunate to be able to get away from school/radio station duties/and Pretoria in general. If I can be so lucky next year...why wouldn't I go?! And this time I'll know that wearing gumboots may look dorky as hell, but it's the only way to really have clean feet for days and days and days!

We interviewed three Oppikoppi virgins about their first time at the festival. Find out what a columnist, a comic and a TuksFM radio intern had to say about having good filthy dirty fun, watching Fokofpolisiekar, The Kwassie Experience and more. If you ever wanted to know what the Way of the Dassie is all about, read on.


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