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Day 1: Oppikoppi 2015 comes to life

2015-08-08 10:57

Johannesburg - The beginning of OppiKoppi 21: THE FANTASTIC MR VOSVOS finally arrived outside the small Limpopo town of Northam on Friday, with festival goers descending upon a land with a surplus of dust and expectation.

Those arriving on the opening day immediately learned what the Wednesday and Thursday crowd by now knew: the sun punished during the day and was an absent friend at night. If you did not prepare, you will be punished.

Late arrivals with imagination could still find a decent camping spot near the festival's main streets, but by late Friday night there was precious little space to be had, as campers milled around nursing their indulgence from the night before or being in the throes of it.

Planet Lindela doing their thing at the Bruilof Stage @oppikoppi #OK21 #MrVosVos

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On stage, the Top Bar on the koppie profited from the hot conditions, proving popular with festival goers seeking relief on a day the line-up showed minimal international presence, local acts dominating the day.

Cazz brought the necessary energy to rouse the crowd from their slumbers at noon, followed by a more contemplative Animals in Suits. Gerald Clark and friends put on a strong, passionate performance in the early evening with a mix of material, followed by The Hip Replacements' entertaining set.

The Bruilof stage offered some interesting curiosities, none more so than the excellent yet somewhat underappreciated Planet Lindela. A combination of a saxophonist, bassist, drummer, bongo player and sometimes trumpeter, their high-speed jive was lapped up by the small crowd present as the sun set over this dusty part of Limpopo.

British act The Curious Incident were next up on Bruilof, and they proved their reputation for being an up-beat, polished, ska band was well founded, drawing the stage's largest crowd for the day. Some of their audience went crowd surfing as the festival's first international act put a show worth the audience's time and energy.

The Curious Incident on the Bruilof Stage @oppikoppi #OK21 #MrVosVos

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The Main stage saw aKing and The Parlotones draw the biggest crowds of the festival thus far. Both these experienced local acts put on shows that kept the relaxed atmosphere front and centre. Hands, flags and fists gyrated up and down in the air in front of them, the crowd clearly enjoying themselves.

The Skellum stage, always a place for the alternative music lover to satisfy any number of desires depending on whose playing, finished strongly with the excellent New Academics.

They brought the needed intensity to a crowd thinking of their sleeping bags back into the game, sending them back into Mordor and their various camped hotels with a good performance for them to dream on.

Saturday throws up an excellent line-up, with international acts Livingston (UK), Tartran (Israel), The Circle View (US), Fortuna Records(Israel), and Konrad Kuechenmeister (Germany) all on stage.

Locally, OppiKoppi does not disappoint as Al Bairre, The Black Cat Bones, AKA, Desmond and the Tutus, PH Fat, The Nomadic Orchestra, Paul Hamner and Tweak all will undoubtedly entertain the crowd.

Filth rocking the James Phillips stage @oppikoppi #OK21 #MrVosVos

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