With Women’s Day being observed on Monday, Oppikoppi 2015 ended on a Sunday, which I must confess felt a little weird as festival Sundays are usually used to recover from the weekend’s biggest acts the night before.
Friday and Saturday had been intense but with its stellar line-up which included international headliners Gogol Bordello, Brand New and Twin Atlantic, Sunday truly was the big one. Here’s a look at what went down…
The marching band were doing their thing again as I made my way out of the tent to face the day…Daytime performances on Skellum included (the hilariously entertaining speedo-clad) Satanic Dagga Orgy and Guy Collins, while over on Bruilof Meth Breath were loads of fun as were Float Parade and Kings Down South up at the top bar. James Phillips’ performers included The Vanilla and Lunatic Wolf as well as Scottish headliners Twin Atlantic, while the main stage hosted Go Barefoot, Black Math and Johnny Clegg’s twilight set amid the gorgeous sunset.
Also, I got super excited and went full nature-tourist upon seeing a woodpecker and followed him around the trees for like 20 minutes, because he was the first piece of fauna I’d seen anywhere near the festival (apart from an ant that was about 3cm long and very aggro).
Karen Zoid ushered in the night over on James Phillips, followed later by Matthew Mole and Francois van Coke, who was joined by a bunch of guests including Kobus de Kock jr, a ‘choir’ and the aforementioned Karen Zoid. Highlights of the Red Bull Stage for me were Moonchild and Umlilo, both of whose very visual sets I really enjoyed.
Toya Delazy was joined by Albert Frost and Lee Thomson over at Skellum, where percussive powerhouse BCUC later played too, while over on Bruilof Hot Water delivered a very energetic and entertaining set (complete with props and a lot of audience participation…a lot more than was necessary but it was entertaining nonetheless…)
But the big action was over on the main stage – Shortstraw delighted the crowd with a great rendition of Keanu Reeves (complete with compelling background slideshow) before American emo rockers Brand New brought the drama. I was never a big fan of them back in the day but enjoyed what I heard of their set and have actually been listening to them quite a bit since seeing them…and at 11pm New York-based gypsy punk collective Gogol Bordello delivered a high octane performance that didn’t slow down for a minute – songs bled seamlessly into each other and the band relentlessly pounded out hit after hit. I’ve always liked them and was looking forward to their set, which didn’t disappoint. Loads of fun.
I only visited the top bar twice that night – early in the evening to watch a bit of Anton Goosen (and in time to celebrate the fest’s 21st with a slice of birthday cake) and at the end of the night where Albert Frost and Robin Auld closed off the festival’s live acts before DJ Bob kept the party going till the wee hours.
I got back to the tent round 2am and had about 40 minutes of actual sleep before our collective paranoia about the traffic got the better of us and we packed up and were on the road well before 5am…that bit was rough, but the highveld sunrise was quite lovely. Plus stopping for coffee at a pristine petrol station cafe in Brits at 7am, thoroughly shocking the old tannie of a proprietor with our horrendous post-fest appearance (and getting a small sadistic kick out of knowing she’d be seeing a lot more of our kind as the exodus began in earnest) was a hoot.
Oppikoppi definitely stole my heart, I had an amazing weekend and will most definitely visit again.
– – –
Gogol Bordello | Brand New | Twin Atlantic | Albert Frost | BCUC | Hot Water | Francois van Coke | Toya Delazy | Shortstraw | Anton Goosen | Moonchild | Umlilo | Karen Zoid | Johnny Clegg | Guy Collins | Black Math | Kings Down South | Float Parade | Lunatic Wolf | Meth Breath | Satanic Dagga Orgy | The Vanilla------------------------