Departing Friday early from Pretoria, our adventure began. We managed to miss any semblance of that horrid N1 traffic and were soon scooting along towards Northam via Brits, if we could just remember the route.
Fortunately our driver JMan did remember the route – something along the lines of: Go until you think you’re wrong, and then just keep going. And so we were delivered to the gates of Oppikoppi at the comfortable hour of 9am. (Theme song 1: The Narrow – Travellers)
Now the first rule of Oppikoppi-club is there are few rules, but one that is suitably important would be to establish a camping spot in a location one can remember when stumbling back to the site in the early hours with no torch and no sense of balance or rationality to get you there. This we did, finding a comfortable spot on the corner of “Ware Liefde” and “James Philips” avenues. Not that knowing the street names would ever be of any help at all, but it was good to know we thought we knew where we were.
Before we could even say “Let’s unpack the tent” there stood a welcome beer or three in the hands of Conrad, one of our neighbours for the weekend (And sound dude for rock gods). Wow. Oppikoppi spirit kicking in. Hoe gaan dit boet? (Theme song 2: Anything from the Fake Leather Blues Band 🙂 )
With J & J around it wasn’t long before we were all unpacked and kitted out. Nou was dit tyd om te pomp. Dit wil se dit was tyd om die lug-matras te pomp. (Theme song 3: The Hellphones – Dirty Minds) Fortunately that was about the most physical energy we intended spending and we cooled our sweat with an ice cold brandy and coke.
Just as we were settling down I received an urgent phone call from Lie/Chris/Neet – the mayor of Splashy Fen. Cue Mission Impossible soundtrack. Our mission, should we choose to accept it (but of course) was to
“procure Three Oppikoppi T-shirts and have them hand-delivered to the mayor of Splashy by any band that would be playing later that weekend at Splashy”.
In return selfsame self-proclaimed mayor would have
“three Splashy Fen T-Shirts band-delivered to us at Oppikoppi”.
Piece of cake I said. Two-thirds of this self-proclaimed mayor work for a freight forwarding company, as does one-third of the mayor of Splashy.
A couple of drinks down, we wandered across the growing campsite to see what was happening in the stage area. Not too much, except some food being prepared, sound check coming right, and people slowly starting to seek out a comfy patch of grass for the introduction to their evening’s adventure. Thirsty work, time for another drink.
A short while later we were joined by three new
contestants exhibits, G-man, Mish and a little later, Mister Han. Mister Han drove all the way down from Botswana and so arrived understandably after one or two bands had done their thing, but drink-in-hand I quickly guided his car to our campsite and watched him pitch his tent.
Terug stage toe so gou soos moontlik. I have to say that this is where I start cutting the story short, memories are sketchy but the photos tell a lot of the story. It involves beer tents, beer-on-brandywine, hand clapping and ass-shaking and a touch of electric spinach. Also included was some T-Shirt searching, band-hunting, Koppi-climbing, upstairs-barring, key-finding and Yaygi drinking. (Theme song 4: Wonderboom – It’s great to be alive)
As far as the bands and music goes, well, that’s all a part of 52Weeks’ job, so it’s been left up to them.
The shirts! For the mayor. The T-Shirts were in Mister Han’s car. I removed them after I climbed mountains to retrieve the keys. They were supposed to go somewhere, I had to deliver them. My last entry into twitter that evening went like this.
Things were not looking good in the freight forwarding industry.