OppiKoppi, Paradeisos

Excuse me
while I lose myself
In this dome of dusty tracks, history reloaded & reality deconstructed

Misconduct, reconfigured, shamelessly blurred
The docks fitted with stale beer, hefty blankets of smoke and gore 
Smells of sweet guilt
The couch fleas sucking and sipping
Jumping to the same rhythm
The one in their heads that burn
Let this warped congregation sing its hymns
Oh holy, holy, holy
We’re lost, come find us

The dirt, musk, trample with malice
It smells of a shared promise
One we made to the Gods
That we’ll surrender and scream
dance until our lungs need help
Fortitude within us
Unless you’re on your bed
Crying to be taken
Why would you cease this warped paradise? 
One that promises you complete freedom
And one that ends too suddenly
Leaving you heaving for more 

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Oppi Koppi: the dusty otherworld

 When we die one day, hopefully everyone would have had the taste of an Oppi Koppi weekend. It was my first and while I’ve gone to a few local festivals, I didn’t quite feel like I had roped in enough knowledge about how to prepare myself for Oppi. I figured that no one can really prepare. All you need to do is embrace the unpredictability of dust-covered blankets, buckets full of ill-prepared vodka mixes and the characters we meet along the way. And there are definitely characters that will stand out in their entire hippie, boertjie, poppie, festival junkie state. I didn’t know where I quite fitted in – I was the first-timer with all the excitement I could hold. From Boom Street to Foktrappies, I encountered people who hung on people, the exposed backs and bums of tall dancers who wanted to share their history, music, cigarettes or whatever dear potions they mumbled off. From pyjama outfits to animal suits, the festival allows for a balls-to-the-wall sense of being – anything goes, anyone goes.

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 And I kept thinking “Why haven’t I done this sooner?”

There might be a cloud of dust in your throat (the dust was not an understatement that’s for sure) and hard ‘beds’ to go home to (if you happen to remember where your camp is) but there will be an emotion that will trump it all – that you’re in a congregation that adores music and the coming-together of fans or people who just want to break free from the mindless, day-to-day tik-tik-tiking on their keyboards. Perhaps, Oppi is an annual bite of heaven; or something that everyone aspires to after they turn 21: an ever-present youth.

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From Jeremy Loops’ seductive, crowd-pleasing antics to the drawl of Mr. Folk in Matthew Mole, the congregation moved like everyone knew everyone. From new experiences in Bye Beneco and the chilled vibes in Al Bairre and Beatenberg, Oppi seemed to churn out musicians in their element. From the absolute mastery of Bittereinder on stage to Crash Car Burn’s old favourites, it seemed that everything that reminded people of work and life and bills and comfort disappeared. And for now we were all experiencing Oppi 2013 in all its glory – and my first one. With the “awe ma se kinders” from Jack Parow to Yellowcard’s flashback to our teenage angst, there was no better way to spend a weekend.

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And with the Redbull Stage demonstrating the liberty of dance while the rock stages attracted oldies with ‘Oppi ‘92’ t-shirts, there was an acceptance of all. And yes, we’re all somewhat segregated with our different likes and dislikes but there is no hostility. A music festival is so different and maybe we can all act like perfect friends in that environment because it seems other-worldly; like we’re spending a weekend in an un-burstable bubble away from daily news reports.

 

The chit-chattering of 4am teeth when the winter seems too long

Deep-dark thumbles and chapped lips

The knocking of portaloo friends and the stink of

wine, smoke, dust

as the sun sets and we order our desserts

The round glasses, the cowboy hats and penguin hats

Coats and jeans and underwear mismatched

And we’re all out of place

The dying, cold fires and tornados of air

The bounce of half n’ half

The colours that make us

All the same but entirely different

The hipster cools

The local wanderers

The zebra pack and whistles late at night

The scream and crackle of the braai

Kisses

And the ‘good morning, round three’ calls

Couches that are planted in tradition

And flags like pirates after the bounty

The promise of a one-day shower

 

Why thank you Oppi…