DITEBOGO TSHAKA AND LORINDA MARRIAN
Every week, Perdeby sends their journalists to experience something out of their comfort zones. In this week special experience piece, Ditebogo Tshaka and Lorinda Marrian attended the OppiKoppi music festival for the first time.
Having made the world’s most consolidated and comprehensive lists and having cross-checked them with other festival-goers’ lists, I’d thought myself to be the quintessential planner.
I’d packed all that was necessary and potentially necessary for the dust, but that was quickly thrown out the window when the dust was replaced by the sometimes oozy sometimes lumpy mud. Instead of the scorching Northam heat, we were greeted by overcast skies and chilling temperatures. Although most of the day was dreary and wet, we managed to take a tour of the main area to familiarise ourselves with the festival’s layout. By evening, our surroundings were drier and we had a fire and apotjie going. Thepotjie, concocted by our slightly inebriated chef, was edible. (The editor reserves the right to say that thispotjie was outstandingly scrumptious).
We only watched a handful of acts the first night. The act that I had been looking forward to the most, because I have had a love for the band since way-back-when and was counting the seconds until their performance, was Two Door Cinema Club. Simply put, their performance was a mic drop from the heavens, an apt analogy as it was pouring with rain before and throughout their act.
My friends would compare my disposition to an elevator. I was grumpy before their performance, was elated throughout it, and came right back down when they walked off stage.
Let me start off by saying that I come from a family of non-campers. Our holidays are normally in clean hotel rooms where one has regular uninterrupted access to a shower. Therefore, I was sceptical of Oppi from the very beginning. Yet, I truly had a wonderful time.
My most memorable Oppi experience was on Friday night. After having an absolutely amazing time listening to The Naked and Famous, we had to trudge our way back to camp in the slickest mud I have ever seen. In all honestly, we were just sliding around in the sludge. We decided to start our treacherous journey by visiting the wonderfully helpful Red Frogs for a nice warm cup of coffee after being soaked by the rain. As we were struggling through the quagmire a stranger grabbed my hand and we helped each other remain vertical despite nature’s best efforts. The blond woman, whose name I do not know was highly intoxicated but yet we managed to make our way through unscathed. After which, the woman promptly disappeared which led me to believe that she was in fact an Oppi ghost that leads people through the dark muddy Mordor streets. My friends and I held on to each other as we made the very long journey back to our camp. Although it was difficult, we kept each other entertained with a variety of stories. I am ashamed to admit that after I laughed at one really muddy man, I immediately slipped and fell in the mud myself. Eventually, we made our way back to camp after which we realised that our tents and belongings were completely soaked. Thanks to a very generous friend, three of us were able to comfortably sleep in the folded down back seats of her car. The Oppi experience was definitely one of a kind. Acts that I really enjoyed included the comedy stylings of Deep Fried Man and musical performances from Jerry & the Bandits, Yo Grapes and Flume.
We have also put together a list of tips for having a safe and enjoyable Oppi.
- Pack for all four seasons. Pack boots as they’ll have you covered for the dust and the mud.
- Have a good look at the route from where you’re leaving to Northam. Trust us!
- Save money a few months in advance. This trip could very easily leave you broke.
- Always check your receipt after you purchase with your meal card to ensure that you’ve been charged the right amount for your purchase.
- Pack two fully charged power banks, but even then use your phone sparingly.
- Make sure your tent is water proof to avoid sleeping in cars.
- Do not let the little things like some mud or rain affect your mood. Oppi is very much about going with the flow, so take things like this lightly and laugh your way through the tricky times.
Overall, whether in dust we trust or in mud we must, we hope to return to Oppi next year.