By default, every girl in the entire world has 2 dates of the calendar year permanently etched onto her fluttering little heart. Regardless of how heartbroken/battered/hardened/disillusioned she may pretend to be (or really be), she lives and breathes for these two dates: 14 February (that’s Valentine’s Day you heartless men-folk) and her Birthday.
As you may know by now, I often find myself questioning my own girlyness. (Due to lack of handbag/shoe fetish, decidedly manly-looking bedroom, zero tolerance for pretty-boys and various other things I don’t care to mention right now). My point will now be further proven in the following post.
During the year, I too look forward to 2 calendar days with sweaty palms and a butterflytummy… they just happen to both fall on the exact same weekend and take place in the loudest, dustiest, dirtiest setting known to man.
For 2 full (official) days every August, I get to roll around in dust and grass, gash my legs to shreds on inconveniently placed thorn bushes, listen to endless music, drink everything I see, hang out with like-minded people, eat potjiekos made by hippies, wear leopard print pants, not wash my hair, climb a koppi in the bush, fall down a koppi in the bush, lose myself completely, find myself completely and enjoy general all-round debauchery… ALL in the name of work.
Ahhh…to be young and employed by a music channel.
My virginal Oppikoppi experience was endured in a 4 man tent, with my wing woman @Coreenbunnyp, a cooler box, not nearly enough blankets, no chairs and about 6 rolls with cheese. It was the best weekend of my short little life.
We camped in Mordor with the rest of the commoners (also known as General Admission Camp) and managed to lose our way home, via various routes, every night for the entire weekend.
After that first time…I was hooked. Once you go black…(somehow, this is relevant…I’m sure).
Thankfully, MK came to my rescue and after just 1 month in their employment, they appointed me as one of the official MC’s for the 15th Oppikoppi, Smoorverlief. This meant that for my 2nd Oppikoppi experience I was
a) Getting paid actual money to go to a festival that I would sell my left liver to go to (kidding…I need them both) (kidding again…I know I only have one liver)
b) Going to be a part of the Oppikoppi History and
c) I was being moved to the Golden Temple of Oppikoppi camping…The Kreef Hotel. Point 5 star (Ha! Love that) tent accommodation, with a porter service, your tent fully set up and equipped with mattresses that don’t need to be re-inflated every hour, on the hour, hot showers, clean(ish) toilets and my personal favourite…full.english.breakfast.
I have about 389 000 pictures documenting my first few Koppi’s (good thing too, as all the excitement and adrenalin (???) seem to cause massive memory loss) and every time I look at them I think a) wow, I used to be really chubby… but more than that b) I CANNOT WAIT for next time.
This year though, was without a doubt my Best Festival To Date and a narrow tie for Best Weekend Of My Life with my 22nd Birthday Weekend of Cape Town Debauchery.
Now, when you have spent an entire year looking forward to a single weekend (and the excitement has caused you to neglect both 14 Feb AND your very own Birthday), you need to make sure you do it right.
This takes months and months of meticulous planning, money saving and mental preparation. OR…it doesn’t.
Sometimes, you get really, really lucky and the Universe throws you into a completely un-planned, spontaneous, spur of the moment Situation Of AWESOMENESS and all you can do is go with it, appreciate it, and document it.
So here’s a little shout-out in honour of The Universe… Shot Universe.
Living in Joburg, a mere 2 hours away from Oppikoppi, I had been reading all over Twitter about an #epicroadtrip from Cape Town to Oppikoppi, stopping in PTA to meet up with the Joburg/PTA convoy. I must admit to a certain (read: HUGE) amount of Road Trip Envy.
See, I have recently developed a special fondness for all things Capetonian (particularly a blogger named @bangersandnash) and could not think of a radder way to kick off the Oppikoppi Festivities… unfortunately, as mentioned above, I live a short little distance of just 200km’s away…while this #epicroadtrip was going to take a possible 16 hours.
So due to mere practicality, I would not be joining the #epicroadtrip.
Then I remembered… Spending 16 hours in a car with @bangersandnash listening to rad music and preparing yourself for what could possibly turn out to be The Best Weekend Of Your Life is NOT an opportunity you should miss out on!! Even for the sake of practicality.
Also remembered that I have never really been big on practical thinking anyway.
(Also remembered that I’ve seen Almost Famous more times than I care to count, and I have this really romantic idea about road trips and writing about them). (Ok, so perhaps I am a girl after all.)
So… After a hurried phone call from the ticket counter (after actually booking the tickets) to Nash: “Can I come visit you…tomorrow…and then road trip back up to Joburg with you?” I boarded a plane, flew 2 hours down to the coast, only to get into a car and drive 14 hours back up to Joburg, to drive another 2 hours to Oppikoppi.
Best Bad Decision I’ve ever made.
Cape Town kids will be Cape Town kids, and the day before #epicroadtrip all but one pulled out. May I introduce you to one of my all time favourite party partners: @stormin_ (yes, the man has an underscore…)
Morning of #epicroadtrip Nash’s BlackBerry wakes us all an hour late. We get into Storms car to find a flat battery. At 3am on a winter’s morning we jump start the car, and finally jump start the #epicroadtrip. Somewhere in the middle of Antarctica (may have been a detour) my window opens itself, and proceeds to get stuck that way. The car tells us its -1 outside. Perfect. I shove 2 pillows into the window, and wrap myself in a sleeping bag. I’m still freezing.
14 hours later, we’rein Joburg.
Even though Koppi only officially starts on Friday, we head there on Thursday. We didn’t drive 16 hours to do this in half measures. After getting lost in PTA CBD, Nash having a typically Capetonian “Traffic Meltdown” and a gps failing on us, we arrive at Oppikoppi after dark. Never ideal when you are planning on setting up a camp site.
This year lots of people had the same idea, and there were LOTS of early party starters. Thanks to @coreenbunnyp, we managed to find @donmulto and the PTA crowd and the camp where the partying was going to be going down!
Some newby in an orange (euw) jacket tried to tell us where we may/may not set up our camp site (???) as he wanted his friends to camp there (???) We told him where to get off (with his orange jacket) and after setting up we decided to wade into our excessive amount of booze.
Now this may sound like too much for four people, but here is what we had to quench our thirst with: 6 bottles of tequila, 5 cases of red bull & 4 bottles of whiskey. Also, in case one of us died and the others had to sober up quickly, we had a case of Steri Stumpy and Loaded Smoothies. Note: No food.
Just so you all know, if ever you want to get ANYTHING for free…Nash is your man. We didn’t pay a cent for all that Party Juice and somehow LOADED Smoothies agreed to sponsoring the road trip too. If you are lucky enough to see Nash out and about somewhere, high 5 him. (No sexy girls.) (Kidding) (Ok no, seriously).
1 (2??) bottle of tequila and a couple of Red Bulls down, and we were having a bloody good time. Nash was taking pictures with my Diana Mini, but kept forgetting to roll the film, @melkie_128 (more with the underscore) was wrapping Stormin’s legs in danger tape and I forget what exactly I was doing, but judging by the pictures, I thought it was bloody funny. There was a table mad from a cooler box and a distinct LACK of fire. It was beautiful.
The next morning was welcomed in with a breakfast of Tequila Red Bull and some Cruciale from our Golden Bag Of Oppikoppi Survival.
This is vital for any and every Oppikoppi and it contains: Savlon, plasters, Anadin, Cruciale, Rehidrat, Viral Guard, tissues, LOTS of baby wipes (or, if you’re me: wet wipes, face wipes, disinfectant wipes, and various other forms of wipes that respect the various ph balances of your various body parts), sun screen, and a mirror. (Although if you, like our neighbour, plan on falling face-first into a fire, perhaps re-evaluate the mirror as it might scare you out of any further partying). Also, it must be golden.
Friday: After lots of tequila and such things we made our way up the Koppi where I proceeded to have a fight with a bar man named Chris. Me: “Can I have one Hunters Gold and absolutely anything for free.” Chris (the bar man): “No”. Fight ensued. Details boring. Did get Hunters. Did not get anything for free. Chris (the bar man): 1 Natalie:0
Lots of laughing, lying on the floor, laughing, rolling on the ground and taking of pictures later we made our way (somehow) back down and I did some general MC’ing on the Main Stage. This includes a lot of: “Oppikoppiiiiiiiiii!!!!!!!” “Is julle almal DROOOOOOONK?????!!!!!!” “Is julle almal DIRTYYYYYYYYY?????!!!!!!” and then the name of the next band.
I also, for reasons I cannot explain, found a permanent marker in my handbag… This caused a massive outbreak of “If found return to: @bangersandnash” all over every hot girl who would stand still long enough. The site can pay me later in favours.
PARTY TIME *insert general walking through crowds/watching rad bands/drinking stuff/laughing/getting lost here*
Also include: Move stuff to EPIC tent hotel of Radness. Jip, sleep on a solid mattress, with a hot shower awaiting you in the morning.
Saturday night: Haezer, more laughing, Stormin wearing my jumper, Nash being Little Foot from Land Before Time (COMPLETELY DRUNK yet somehow: responsible, level-headed, a man with a plan, general pack-leader and awesome boyfriend to The Presenter) and a flashing light in a juice bottle.
Also, a pack of party mustaches, a dozen pairs of sunglasses and many RIDICULOUS pictures! @lizetheunicorn and Mel decided the look was working for them and spent the night standing around, trying to look serious with their facial fur. No less than SIX males approached them, admitting to finding their lip lapas “Strangely arousing…” (???) (?!?)
Sunday: Ugh. Lying on grass, listening to more amazing bands, massive tiredness and extreme hangies all round. Very little drinking indeed.
Ok, I’m going to admit to something here… I did not watch Billy Talent. By that late ungodly hour (11pm) on the Sabbath (!!!) I was just too partied out. Add to that the fact that I don’t even like Billy Talent, was bloody freezing my appendages off one by one, and woke up on the grass with Nash on my one side, and some random on my other and you understand why I chose to retire. I’m just not one of those people who are willing to stand around having the WORST night of their lives, just to be able to say “I saw Billy Talent perform. Well, I mean I didn’t actually see see them…there were too many people. But, you know, I was in the crowd.”
Monday came, and so did the end of Oppikoppi. The last day felt kind of like what a slap in the face must feel after a really good kiss. Surprisingly painful, yet somewhat exciting…then just plain shitty.
Monday: Hot shower (Thank you MK), breakfast (again…MK), then a 2 hour wait in the queue to get out of Koppi. 17 000 people means at LEAST 8 000 cars…which means… a 2 hour wait in the queue to get out of Koppi.
So that was Oppikoppi 2010. I partied my face off to Taxi Violence who I LOVE and will gladly lose my face for any time. Other highlights were Wrestlerish, Dance You’re On Fire, Rambling Bones and Southern Gypsy Queen. Also of course, Haezer and Peach. I missed VCK and Jack Parow, but they are always the same anyway: AMAZING.
Let me take a second to tell you the following…
Oppikoppi is NOT for the faint hearted. It’s not for girls who are going just cause they don’t trust their boyfriends to go alone. It’s not for people who are precious about their cars. It’s not for people who don’t like alcohol, or crowds of “stupid drunk people” or sleeping in tents. It’s not for people who aren’t willing to have their perpetually drunk, fire-damaged, free loader neighbours become their new BBF for the weekend. It’s not for people who ”can’t sleep if they haven’t showered”. It’s not for people who want to fight about who has the bigger arms. It’s not for people who list “whatever is on the radio” as their favourite music. It’s not for people who think “skinny jeans are for gays”.
Oppikopp is for people who love music…live for music. It’s for people who come knowing that they are going to end up dirty as sin, stand in queues of no less than 30 people long for everything from a hamburger to a toilet to an ATM. It’s for people who will let the drunk hippy hug them and scream “I LOVE OPPIKOPPI” in their ear. It’s for people who will allow a blonde in leopard tights to write “bangersandnash.com” all over them in permanent marker. It’s for people with names like @johnstoked, @awe_and_some and @adoneandthesky. It’s for people who will mission around all day, if it means a good time will be had. It’s for people who are willing to either throw away, or frame the shoes they walk around there in.
Oppikoppi is for me.