It’s taken me longer than it should have to post about Oppikoppi. The truth is that I fell in love with the fest last year (my first time) and couldn’t wait to go back, but sadly this year was a write-off for me because I spent the weekend very sick.
When I got back home I was sick for the rest of the month. I haven’t had a flu that horrendous… Well, ever. By the time I finally recovered, at the beginning of September, I’d lost so much work that I didn’t have time to actually reflect on Koppi at all let alone post my hundreds of shots.
Now, nearly 3 months later, I’ve finally got a minute to do this. So here goes – here’s day one of Oppikoppi 2016 (or, the decent day before my immune system crashed).
The flu didn’t exactly come out of nowhere… I’d been feeling it looming in the days before the festival but had ignored it as best as I could, chugged the odd corenza c and hoped for the best.
Oppikoppi isn’t just a challenge when you arrive but getting there takes it out of you too. A flight from Cape Town at the asscrack of dawn and all the fun airports bring, followed by a long drive towards the dusty highveld then negotiating the myriad and already pumping streets of Mordor to get yourself settled (ie. dump your overnight bag) before hitting the ground running.
Last year we arrived Friday night but this year we arrived around lunchtime, in time for a full day of entertainment, which was both a blessing and a curse… I am glad I got at least one day out if the fest where I didn’t feel utterly terrible though. For a while Koppi was everything I loved and for all the stress I was happy to be there and had a great time on Friday.
De Wallen did Cape Town proud, bringing their usual energy to the Bruiloff stage (which probably was my favourite stage of OK22) in spite of the heat and lack of shade during their afternoon set.
Satanic Dagga Orgy were also a standout for me – last year they were a favourite of mine and this year they owned the James Phillips stage with a great set filled with hilarious moments courtesy of both the band (and their usual combination of great lyrics, catchy melodies, speedos and sex toys) and their demented fairy gothmothers spreading gifts and good cheer to the crowd.
onedaysky had, in my opinion, the best natural lighting of the festival. With the sunset behind them and a beautiful orange glow all around, theirs was probably the set I enjoyed shooting the most the whole weekend.
I admit the harshness of the Limpopo environment is not my favourite, but the sunsets up there really are something special and the view from the hilltop of the sprawling festival grounds is always worth the trek.
Hellcats were probably my favourite performance of the weekend – they’re just too good, every time, and their set was fantastic, too much fun.
Bittereinder are a big favourite of mine and I haven’t seen them in years, so I was really looking forward to their headlining set and I wasn’t disappointed. They’ve perfected their live show and it all felt really slick, confident and energetic.
Unfortunately the nature of festivals means there’s always something going on so I took a break in the middle of Bittereinder’s set to go check out the ever-entertaining Boargazm as they closed off the Bruiloff stage with their signature sci-fi porcine vibe.
It was at this point that I started to feel pretty crappy, so I saw what I could of the rest of Bittereinder’s set before retreating to my tent for a night of fevered sleep.
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Bittereinder | Boargazm | The Plastics | The Tazers | The Narrow | Art Snakes
Newtown Knife Gang | Wonderboom | Hellcats | Thieve | Bye Beneco
Follow me follow you | Nakhane Touré | Onedaysky | Satanic Dagga Orgy
Thomas Krane | De Wallen | Pollinator | The Dandies