Dust-bowl euphoria

Oppikoppi is possibly the worst place in the world to wake up with a hangover. Depending on how serious the previous night’s partying was, you are likely to wake up covered in red dirt with nasty thorn wounds and with a collection of bruises or gashes from that tumble down the koppi.

You will flop out of your tent to be greeted by a hoard of stumbling casualties, drifting up and down the dirt roads, while some guy blasts AC/DC or hideous trance music from his car boot (he is the guy who took too much acid or mushrooms and hasn’t slept for days).

You will see people passed out in the road, around the campfire, under tables and on top of their collapsed tents, while some will still be passed out in front of the stage, in the exact place where their legs finally gave way the night before.

The hideousness of the scene before your eyes can drive you straight towards one of two things.

You either head for the cooler box and start again or you pack up your camp and head home, promising yourself, “never again”.

But, for hardcore music fans, the latter is never really an option, because no matter how rough it gets, Oppikoppi is, band for band, still the best music festival in South Africa and 2007 was no exception.

This year’s highlights were the crop of dynamic young South African bands that are springing up around the country and creating waves.

Oppikoppi virgins, such as Foto na Dans, the Black Hotels and Kidofdoom wowed the audiences with sensational foot-stomping rock’n'roll, staking their claim as the new torchbearers.

While on the dance stage, Cape Town’s electro and jazz contingent, which included Closet Snare, Lark, Sweat X and Unit R had the crowd grooving throughout the long weekend.

The young guns may have made a big impression, but a few Oppikoppi veterans such as Tidal Waves, Bacchus Nel, Koos Kombuis and Paul Riekert and Anton L’amour still blew the roof off of the stage with great kick-ass shows.

As we head home to Pretoria and Jo’burg, tired, dirty and hungover, we all know that in a week we will be back to normal and longing for August next year, when we get a little bit crazy once again.
Viva Oppikoppi, Viva!

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