And so the beast is born…

2013-08-09 12:02
Northam - Arriving at the dusty innards of Maroelasfontein, our attempts at pitching camp was greeted with a smattering of rain and a psycho wind that obviously stopped as soon as we were done.

It’s hard to get your bearings in this impromptu “town”, which grows to such mass that it looks like it might overshadow local one-horse-town Northam, but eventually we made it to the main arena where the best of South African music dynamos battle it out for the best Oppikoppi act.

Stage of randoms

At first you come across the stage of randoms – from breakdancers to shadow puppetry to the morning breakfast show. Revellers and zombie-mode drunks end up here when they want to sit down for a bit, or pass out. People also end up coming here looking for their lost inebriated friends who are no longer part of this world.

James Philips stage

Moving on, we encountered the massive James Philips Main Stage with its iconic white bull head, marking the Bewilderbeast theme. It was already dusk when second-generation muso Jesse Clegg lit up the stage, later christened by CrashCarBurn playing some nostalgic Tweak songs, metal heads Pestroy who was honoured by some serious headbanging and the classic rockers Black Cat Bones.

Wesley Dome stage

The Wesley Dome Stage sports some diabolical horns, lit up in various colours depending on the mood of the music. Straatligkinders showed their love with a mix of old and newer songs, including their popular cover of Afrikaans anthem Kaptein. Later Dan Patlansky got the beasts dancing and the night for the dome of legends was ended by South African rock kings Fokofpolisiekar, who debuted a new song with the catchy tagline: “Ons doen dit vir die fok.” Which is probably the mentality of everyone at the dusty Oppikoppi 

Red Bull stage

The road to the Red Bull stage is paved with a steep incline, falling rocks and hazardous drunks. Even being completely sober does not guarantee that you make it to the top unscathed.

Once you get to the top, you think you’ve made it,  but then you realise the the DJ stage is at the bottom of another incline, hungrily awaiting patrons with loose footing. At the end (or for some the beginning) of the night the electricity gods decided that the Red Bull stage has had enough light shows, and the party continued at the more accessible Bruilof stage with Afterlife and The Fogshow.

With a band or muso doing their thing at all times, it’s hard to get to the all the stages and acts, leading to many silent curses bestowed on the organisers who set your two favourite bands playing at the same time, but one makes the most of it. If you haven’t been suffocated by the dust demons yet.

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