Yetu is reviewing Oppikoppi Sweet\Thing as a veteran this year and shares her highlights and face-planting in the dust with you. Look out for the review of Oppikoppi from a newbie’s perspective by Ash and the portrait and band photography features by Lourens.
I have written so much about Oppikoppi in the past year and now that Oppikoppi Sweet\Thing has come to an end I feel like something has died, something besides my energy levels and lungs. I can’t believe it’s all over. I believe I have no purpose in life until next year. Instead of getting you down too I want to let you know how incredible the experience was.
While the sky was throwing down snow and everyone had dampened moods about going to Oppikoppi we were up increasing our winter cover. Come hail, rain, wind, snow, genocide or terminator-type atomic bombing we were going to be there. On Wednesday afternoon we drove away from a dark Pretoria, still shitting our pants about how much alcohol we’d have to consume to stay warm, and we arrived to find Northam slightly cloudy but the sun was shining and it was warmer. I took that as a good sign for the coming weekend and ended up drinking accordingly. In the evening I recall Ash and I laughing about how excited she was to see, “Siplo” before I face-planted* in the dust. I really was quite content to lie there in the dark but as my other friends, not Ash, had seen me fall so I had to quickly get up and yank my hair out of a thorn bush. It was then that I realised I was home. I was back at Oppikoppi.
*Yes, face-planted. I even got dust in my mouth and when I got back to the campsite I tried to hide in the shadows so my other camp mates would not see what a mess I was. They saw the mess, even the dust on my face, and I had to wonder how much dust was on my face if being black couldn’t even hide the dust stains.
You need to be aware of how prepared we were for Oppi. I’m something of a veteran because this is my second year and last year I didn’t eat “camping food”. Camping food being tinned shit, two-minute noodles and Nik Naks (there are always Nik Naks) that some of my friends brought. In my campsite we had eggs, bacon and croissants, Chow Mein, nachos and guacamole, Mojitos, Chocolate Cake shots, punch, homemade chocolate chip cookies and fruit. Who wants to camp with me next year?
Jealous much? I wouldn’t be such a cow if I hadn’t warned you prior to Oppikoppi about what you could do. Also our drinks were cold the whole weekend without having to top up on ice. The ice in my cooler box began to melt on the day we were leaving. The trick with the dry ice worked, so I will be doing that again next year.
One of the reasons I love Oppikoppi so much is because of the people. Everyone is there to have fun. I recall being called “UK girl” a few times by guys at a campsite because of my accent and even getting shots from a random group I was taking photos of.
I also ran off to a campsite that was playing one of my favourite drinking games. Have you ever heard of “Fuck Me”? I heard them playing in the distance and just had to join in. They cheered, “Here’s another one!” when I arrived.
I could even mention that one of my friends fell out of a tree at the Red Bull Stage. He landed on his feet to many cheers, claps and laughter even though the branch he took down knocked someone over. You don’t really get things like that outside of Oppikoppi.
Now the bit you actually want to hear about. The music.
Fact 1: I like Electro, a fuck load
Fact 2: I love random indie shit
Fact 3: I like some rock
Knowing all those facts you’ll understand why I watched specific acts and spent majority of my time at the Red Bull Stage. That’s just my thing.
Most of my photos will come from there but never fear. Lourens, the other photographer at Drop Your Drink, is very fond of the other internationals and bands. I guess, we worked together on different sides of the music spectrum so if you’re patient, you’re going to get a portfolio of beautiful images of Jack Parow, Enter Shikari, Bullet for My Valentine, Seether, aKing, Fokofpolisiekar and others.
All the performances I saw were amazing. However, I will have ones that will stand out for the rest of my life. They include performances by: Toya De Lazy, PhDJ, DJ Sideshow, Diplo and Das Kapital. Let me explain why. I listen to Toya De Lazy on 5FM and she sounds great but I never expected her to be that “anti-lazy”. She had a full dance crew on set and performed the shit out of the Skellum Stage; people were going crazy for her and I could understand why.
One of the acts I checked out because of the Oppikoppi line-up was the Purple Sneakers DJ Set. One half of the duo, PhDJ, came to Oppikoppi. Together they play music that reminds me of Great Dane nights in Braamfontein and I smile just thinking about that. PhDJ played music that went from hip-hop to Brave New World (PSDJ New World Rave Edit).
I had the fortune of interviewing DJ Sideshow before she went on stage to do her set. She was nervous and excited before her performance. I noticed it took a while for her to loosen up on stage but once she had shaken out the nerves she killed it. I heard people shouting about how much she rocked and she deserved all of that.
I know how to express myself, Diplo style. I even know how to do the express yourself handstand. I was over the barrier so quickly when he asked ladies to come on stage and express themselves and the only thing I have come to regret was not wearing trousers or jeans that night. I don’t think a handstand in a maxi skirt would have gone down well. I had no idea what to expect from his set. This is the guy that produced “Paper Planes” by M.I.A. and one of my personal favourites, “Too Close” by Alex Clare and I didn’t know how he was going to make us dance. What I have discovered is that it’s a case of you had to be there. If you missed this show, or any of his other shows in South Africa then you should be dead from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).
Das Kapital came on stage. I was cold. I was tired. I danced. He made me proud of the South African music industry because he took over from Diplo and carried on making the crowd go crazy. He didn’t even need recognisable songs to make us move. You can imagine that he had to be brilliant to be able to maintain the level of energy that Diplo created.
I was already missing Oppikoppi when we got onto the highway. Shit. This is going to be a long year.