Five things we learned at Oppikoppi 21

2015-08-11 09:41

Johannesburg - The 21st edition of the Oppikoppi music festival took place over the Women's Day weekend near the town of Northam in Limpopo. Here are five takeaways from this year's festival.  

1. Preparation is king

The saying goes fail to prepare, prepare to fail, and this is no more true than at Oppikoppi. Festivals have been made and broken by having wet wipes, fresh water, cooking materials, bringing enough money to buy food and drink, camper chairs, clothing for both day and night, an adequate sleeping bag and a soft surface to sleep on. Gazebos especially prove popular, as they provide shade from the beating sun which has seen many a festivalgoer either go home sun burnt or give in to drink-associated anaemia. While the best plans go awry, better to have one than not.

2. Top Bar a true gem 

The Top Bar stage, the most isolated of all the festival's stages, has proven to be a truly hidden gem at Oppikoppi over the last few years with this year being no different. While a steep walk seems a heavy price to pay for one's patronage, upon reaching the top you are greeted by a bar, actual green grass to rest one's weary legs, a couple of food stalls, benches, shade, and an intimate stage criminally underrated for the quality of music found there. This year it was the only stage to have an artist perform every hour, a boon for those wanting their full share of music while remaining in the same place. Mellow in every sense of the word. 

Festival peeps @oppikoppi #OK21 #MrVosVos

A photo posted by Channel24 (@channel24_sa) on

3. Know how to get back to your tent in the dark

The Oppikoppi camp site is surprisingly large when driven from one end to the other, and a common mistake made by festival newbies is not immediately learning the quickest and simplest way back to their tent from the stage area. Cries of "Where are we?", "What street are we on?" and "Are we going round in circles?" are a common cause for bonding once the sun sets and a source of many an amazing Oppi adventure. There is no greater act of kindness than helping someone find their tent when they came to you with no hope left in their eyes.  

4. Embrace the dirt

Oppikoppi is just as well-known for its all consuming dust as it is for its music, with "Oppikoppi", and "In Dust We Trust" scrawled on cars, along with a certain part of the male anatomy, across the camp site. In the lead up to and after big acts have played on stage, the resulting dust cloud caused by the many thousands of shuffling feet can be a dense fog around the stage entrances. It will get under your fingernails, into your hair, into your cup where you pour your drink, and sadly, even into your tent no matter how careful you are. To embrace Oppikoppi is to embrace its dust, and the sooner you do so, the better your overall experience will be.

5. It is a marathon, not a sprint

A common mistake made by Oppikoppi rookies, especially if they have come for the full three days, is to party at 125% on the first night, wreck themselves, and pitifully limp through the rest of the festival. You can see these men and women walking up and down the festival's dusty streets, their faces etched in pain as they realise Oppikoppi is a unique event that demands a unique approach. Power naps are a trusted weapon, especially since it is almost impossible for a person to get a full complement of sleep due to rowdy neighbours, hot mornings, and party-associated calls of nature.

ALSO CHECK OUT: Our Oppikoppi weekend in 40 pics

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