Imagine a world within a world for only a weekend; a place where sociopolitical feelings are acknowledged, but are set aside for a time being by all parties involved.
A place where you see hope of a true Rainbow Nation someday; a place where the light is tinted by the bright orange glow of dust; a place where love, peace, playful chaos and great music fills the air.
This place is Oppikoppi, and if you haven’t attended the festival yet, you’re missing out.
Oppikoppi festival was established in 1994 on the Oppikoppi farm near a small miner community Northam.
It started with only a handful of musical acts such as Valiant Swart and Koos Kombuis and has since grown significantly over the years, blossoming into a festival that attracts up to 20 000 people and features both local and international acts.
The line-up is and has included genres such as blues, jazz, drum, bass, ska, rock, electro, indie, hip-hop, hardcore, metal, folk, kwaito and much more, evidence the festival has something for everyone.
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It’s a festival about discovering new, good music while simultaneously going on a naked-run for fun with a beer in one hand a vuvuzela in the other with hundreds of strangers without the worry of judgement.
Oppikoppi is laced with an enjoyable madness because of the large amount of freedom the festival attendees are given.
Misha Loots, festival director stated that he had been asked numerous times by non-South Africans how Oppikoppi managed to keep everyone alive.
Loots responded by saying that allowing people to make their own fire and bring in their own alcohol was a recipe for disaster and such would surely not fly anywhere in Europe.
However, while giving the guests the freedom to do almost as they please, you also cast a large responsibility on them not to cause trouble, and for the most part, people seem to take that responsibility seriously.
I assure you if you walk up people attending Oppikoppi for their second, third or even eighth time, they will smile and tell you vast amounts of insane, hilarious stories, and I can assure you that all of the stories you will hear are probably true.
Here, at Koppi, bonds are formed with random strangers offering you a nice cold Windhoek beer by their campfire, friendships are formed, hearts are broken and lovers meet.
I strongly urge you to venture into the heart of the beast at least once in your life, and Oppikoppi 23 Me Now, The Mango Picker is the perfect time to go.
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