Oppikoppi is the highlight of the South African festival calendar, where festival-goers from around the country will flock to the most exciting (and daunting) event that SA has to offer. Set in a giant, rocky dustbowl, Oppikoppi is unlike any other festival out there and needs a fair amount of preparation. We have compiled a list that we hope will make your experience a whole lot easier.
Know Your Limits
We all know that guy who passes out before the main act even arrives at the venue … don’t be that guy! As hardcore as it may make you feel, there’s no need for you to wake up and down 10 shots of tequila while half of Oppikoppi is still passed out from the night before.
Now, we’re certainly not saying that you shouldn’t get hammered … but you have three days of raucous partying to get through and you need to be able to stay standing for the most part. Everyone knows their limits and it would be sensible not to cross the “I’ve just vomited in my shoes” line. All we’re saying is that you need to pace yourself and all will (probably) go down smoothly.
Oppikoppi is a giant dustbowl covered in stray logs, rocks and broken bottles that tend to come out of nowhere. As great as the hot sand may feel between your toes, we highly recommend that you only wear closed shoes – one wrong step could ruin your entire experience and we don’t want that.
As soon as you arrive, we suggest that you take note of the locations of the medical and Red Frog tents. Don’t forget your prescription medication though as the Red Frogs generally only have the basics as well as some sugary sweets and water. They’re also there to convince the odd festival-goer that he is not being chased by a three-headed land shark but is, in fact, having the heaviest trip of his life and will be okay. The medics are there to help – put them to good use!
There’s nothing better than waking up at Oppikoppi and having a cold shower under the sun while hanging like a chandelier from your bender the night before.
Oppikoppi provides shower facilities and you should make use of them before your mates make you sleep in the sand. Wash your hands after using the loo and before and after eating to avoid the almighty gastro bug. For those of you that are really hardcore (which is basically most of the people at the event), a wet wipe bath and a bottle of water over your head will suffice.
Oppikoppi can get boiling hot during the day. Top that off with dust clouds and non-stop partying and I think you can see why staying hydrated is vital!
Keep a bottle of water handy and top up your system regularly, even when you don’t feel the need. There will be a stand in the entertainment area where you can buy an Oppikoppi-branded water bottle which will entitle you to unlimited refills for all three days. Get your bottle as soon as you arrive … you’ll thank us later.
Choose Your Finest Squad
Go with a group of mates that are there to do the exact same thing as you – have a massive party! From the start, collectively lay out a solid set of campsite rules for the entire squad to stick to and there should be no problems.
Oppikoppi has several stages and it’s easy for squad members with different music tastes to split up for a few hours. Set up a meeting time and spot so you can all regroup and have a jol together.
Make New Friends
Who would say no to making new friends? Oppikoppi is filled with thousands of weird and wonderful people from all over the country who have loads in common with you. After all, we’re all going for the love of music!
Whether it’s someone standing next to you waiting for a band to start, a fellow drinker in the bar queue or someone who’s wandering around looking for their tent, stop and talk to some of them and you may end up with a new bestie.
Some of the greatest Oppikoppi memories are made while trying to hunt down your campsite. However, this is not a good enough reason to wipe your memory and forget where your temporary tented home is. Street names are clearly marked and it will be to your benefit to memorise your location (or at least write it on your arm).
A flag, some tinsel or some colourful Christmas lights chucked into a tree can be your saving grace when trying to find your tent. Don’t forget to take a torch!
Plan Your Day
We’re not saying you should map out your every move, but at the beginning of each day, make sure to go over the lineup and jot down the stage name and set times of the acts that you’d like to see (your arm will be an excellent drawing board for this).
Put some time aside to head back to the tent before the night session to get changed into warmer clothes, regroup, chill and grab a bite to eat. Remember to include bar time.
The days at Oppikoppi can be boiling and the nights freezing … so best you prepare for it all. You’ll mainly need to pack short sleeves for the day and at least a hoodie or jacket and some jeans for when the sun goes down.
On that note, we do tend to overheat while having it on the dance floor surrounded by fellow fest-goers, so bring a backpack with, in case you need to take those layers off.
Your campsite is not just a place to sleep – most mornings are spent recovering with your buddies and most nights end in a solid chill around a campfire. Make your campsite as comfortable as possible.
Set up your tents in a circle with a gazebo in the centre for everyone to chill under. Dig a fire pit and place some chairs around it for the squad to recover (make sure the fire pit is blocked off to avoid burning the entire place down). Temporary home sorted!
We hope that our survival guide will help you in preparing for the controlled madness that will inevitably go down at the 21st Oppikoppi. Each day is filled with an incredible international and local lineup that’s sure to keep those ears entertained for the entire weekend. We cannot wait!
Snacks and food
By Adam Lenhoff