The Veterans of Oppikoppi are hard to impress. They’ve braved the dust, dehydration, and devilish thorns of Northam farm and will be there this week to do it again.

So they don’t take lightly to new prawns in their dust bowl. So here is couple of things you should know to be able to fit in with the big guns.

1) The only thing that becomes scarcer than cigarettes and meat that isn’t slightly green after a day or two at the festival is water. You’ve been told to bring a lot. Now double that. Only the lightweights cave to babalaas and body odor.

2) Don’t dress like a sissy. You’re welcome to wear your lycra or onesie or whatever else you wish to wear, but just come prepared to face the Sahara desert by day and Siberia by night

3) Do not become alarmed when you see people sprinting (read: staggering) past your tent a) in a box-car, b) in a craaaazy costume, c) on a surf board, or d) completely naked. These are the races of the Dustbowl Olympics and you should come prepared.

4) Bring a sleeping bag. Bring a pillow. And bring a tent. Sleeping in the car on the ground is no fun at all. But for goodness sake, if you aren’t going to be able to put up your tent in 10 minutes you should consider having a practice run before you get there.

5) If you’re at Bewilderbeast it should be because you love South African music. That means you need to actually have a vague idea of who you are there to see before you pitch your tent. If you don’t know where to start, check out the Oppikoppi album on iTunes.

And yeah, I’m just kidding. Something about the combination of the various types of smoke, dust, and music in the air makes everybody you walk into your new best friend: virgin or veteran.





Gather ye vodka while ye may,

Bewilderbeast is coming

That tequila you despise so much,

At Oppi you’ll be loving.

If you’re an Oppi “virgin” here is my ultimate guide to surviving the dust-ridden, booze-driven, hedonist’s heaven that is Oppikoppi!

We all know going to Oppi without alcohol is like going to see a silent film when you’re blind: pointless. But if you don’t want to be a fader and pass out at 9pm every night, bring some Red Bull or Monster – anything to keep you going!

If you don’t want to miss all the best acts, make sure you keep the Perdeby line-up guide on you at all times. Take as many copies as you can. Your drunk friends can and will rip them up!

If you happen to bump into one of the artists, make sure to start serenading them with a drunken version of one of their own songs in the hope that it turns into a duet, like I did when I sang “Beauty in Decay” to my boy Freddy Van Dango! They’ll never forget you!

“Bring scarves, bandanas or surgical masks for the dust,” they say. Well, I say if you really want to avoid catching “Oppi-lung” bring a fully functional Darth Vader-type helmet or gas mask, otherwise just accept your fate!

When you get really, really drunk and you don’t want to get lost and tying yourself to your friends seems like a good idea, don’t. You’ll quickly learn that it’s easier to swim through land a là Chuck Norris than it is to burn a leather belt with a lighter!

Lastly, be sure to get a burger from Burger Express at least once. Best. Food. Ever! (Especially when you’re… shall we say, “intoxicated” and develop a much bigger appetite than usual)

Then be not coy, but heed this advice,

And while ye may: get wasted

For once you’ve had that Sweet Thing,

You’ll not forget how good it tasted.

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