Adriaan Roets
2 minute read
9 Aug 2018
9:00 am

The beginner’s guide to OppiKoppi

Adriaan Roets

This week revellers will descend on Northam for the OppiKoppi Music Festival. If this is your first time, here's what you need to know.

OppiKoppi revellers, August 2018.

Don’t wear white. Trust us when we tell you, however much you love your white garments you’re better off leaving them at home.

That tidbit and other sage advice may get you through, OppiKoppi, which while billed as a music festival, is so much more. It’s a learning experience.

It’s a place where you find out that one of life’s greatest pleasures is the Vitamin C boost of a naartjie after too many beers the previous night. It’s a place where you find out that fashion is subjective and so is music. A place where choking dust is incapable of breaking down party vibes.

This year’s line-up is a testament to music for all. In 2018, the Red Bull Music Stage returns for it’s ninth instalment featuring 19 acts that include new age kwaito, afrobeats, future soul as well as some gqom.

Jazz is also a major highlight this year, paying homage to the festival’s humble beginnings 24 years ago. Since the early days when jazz records were played at OppiKoppi, DJ Bob has carefully nurtured his motley audience to become familiar with otherworldly jazz and funk.

Although this year’s festival is dropping the last year’s main stage, international appeal is still very much part of the weekend. This year Matchbox Live and OppiKoppi announced that the festival will be taking part in the European Talent Exchange Programme.

It facilitates the booking of European artists at festivals outside of their home countries. Oppikoppi will be the first African festival to join the likes of Coachella, Roskilde and Lollapalooza taking part in the exchange programme.

Included in this year’s lineup is Blind Butcher, an abstract musical duo formed in Lucerne, Switzerland in 2010. Decked-out with glitter tights and a crazy-irritating post-punk rock attitudes, they have devoted themselves to a variety of genres merged together in disco trash. The band’s inclusion at the festival makes sense – Blind Butcher are unfettered by convention and conformity.

Joining them is Dawn Brothers from the Netherlands. Driven by guitar riffs and organ solos, these childhood friends form a unique concept ensemble.

This year’s tribute artist is Oliver Mtukudzi. Starting his career in Zimbabwe in 1977, his husky voice has become the most recognised to emerge from Zim and onto the international scene and he has earned a devoted following across Africa and beyond.

If music isn’t enough, maybe it’s the opportunity to show off some style. Wife beaters or T-shirts with a knock-off Keith Haring print are great at OppiKoppi, but guys and girls have claimed the fashion stage at the festival like never before, and you don’t want to miss out.

If you’re heading to the festival this year, there’s still some time to pull together your own looks. Remember essentials like jeans and a jacket for cold nights, though.

Acts to catch at OppiKoppi

  • Bam Bam Brown
  • CrashCarBurn
  • DJ Capital
  • Fokofpolisiekar
  • Kwesta
  • Oliver Mtukudzi
  • Van Pletzen
  • Wonderboom