So the rather misleading title of this blog post was the theme for this year’s Oppikoppi. I’m still trying to figure out exactly what it means.

It could be a lyric from Fokofpolisiekar‘s ‘Hemel in die Platteland’, or maybe they just threw it in to their song for this gig or it could just be a simple phrase meaning nothing at all. Any suggestions?

More importantly, here follows a brief rundown of the weekend’s events.

Friday morning we rose early, packed our gear and headed for the almost non-existent destination that Northam is. A brief two hours later we found ourselves getting invisibly-stamped and Levi-tagged at the gate (New respect for Levi’s and their support of SA music) and heading up the koppie to find a good camping spot.

We had a sweet spot to setup our campsite – our man on the inside, Henry (DJ at Drop Zone in Hatfield), had been onsite for at least the previous 15 hours and had bagged us a good location next to the Kreef Hotel.

Next step: Exit car, open beer.

In a matter of minutes we had the tent up and the camp-chairs out and were sipping softly on the lowest common denominator of Richelieu and Coke. (I did actually take whisky with, but I could see I needed to pace myself and provide some electrolyte replacement while drinking).

And then I remember waking up on Monday afternoon.

(just kidding). From the first Friday 9am beer to the last Monday 9am beer Oppikoppi was a whirlwind celebration of the outdoors, free spirit, booze, and good rock music. It’s also quite a treat to see such talent amongst local artists, and good support for them too. I’m not one to punt labels, but kudos to Levi’s Original Music and White Horse Whisky for their work in sponsoring this event.

Oppikoppi Easter 2006

I guess it is just one of those universal laws of life. Just as gravity tends to suck, so Oppikoppi tends to rock. I’m not entirely sure that I’m qualified to make that statement, Koppie-virgin that I was, but I doubt you’d find anyone to disagree with it.

The crowd had a great vibe – there was little to no aggression, except in a few mosh pits – with everyone sharing the fun (and the booze and the weed) in equal proportions.

On the whole the facilities were ok – plenty of bathrooms, showers (enough for the guys anyway), water, food and drink, although they were a rather lengthy distance walk away in the mornings when half-asleep and half-naked in a hungover state. The hangover wasn’t a problem though – in true form the beer remains the best hangover cure to date.

There were some awesome headline acts in the weekend’s performances. My favourites included Chris Chameleon, The Narrow, and Ben Lee, but the band that stole the show and put on the most memorable performance was undoubtedly Fokofpolisiekar. They had energy. They had passion. They had presence. They had attitude. This was my first time watching them play a full set, and I was stunned and impressed. They even managed to outshine The Narrow, something that does not happen every day.

All in all it was a fantastic weekend in the bushveld. No prizes for guessing where you’ll find me next year easter time.

Pics on Flickr here.

Technorati Tags: Oppikoppi, rock, music, South African Rock Music, festival