Not sure where you are? It’s Oppikoppi Bewilderbeast. And you’re invited.
A sweaty trek up to the Ray Ban stage and Shotgun Tori is making everyone stop and listen to her sincere, soul-baring lyrics and strangely soothing croon.
She’s followed by Shortstraw, whose unplugged set is anything but chilled. Admirers climb on tables and benches, bellowing requests for the band’s cult parody song “Keanu Reeves”.
Down the hill again and guitar god Dan Patlansky is doing mesmerising things to his guitar. Seeing his fingers move deftly across his guitar can never get old.
Later on, Fokofpolisiekar please their devout fans with a lengthy set in celebration of their ten-year anniversary. It’s the same old, same old from the Belville rockers, even after they debut a long-awaited new track.
Feeling at home in the dustbowl
It’s the second day and the weather is looking as groggy as the hungover beasts who are emerging from their tents.
Not to worry. Bongeziwe Mabandla lights up the Ray Ban stage with his acoustic maskandi-folk musings on the state of our rainbow nation. It’s a hearty set that sees an overexcited girl from the audience join the jiving Eastern Cape native on stage.
Later on, one-man folk band Matthew Mole performs for the Skellum stage crowd, most of which are doting girls. Those big doe eyes are enough to warm the cockles of even the toughest beast’s heart.
Shadowclub take to the horned Wesley’s Dome to perform some old favourites like “Guns and Money”, but it’s their inspired new material and a cover of Nirvana’s “Breed” that make them one of the festival’s standout performances. Shadowclub is back, and they’re letting everyone know it.
As the clock strikes 00:00, Bittereinder is making everyone dink en dans. At one point they are joined by Francois van Coke, who doesn’t appear to do much besides stand in between beat-masters Peach van Pletzen and Louis Minnaar.
It’s 01:00 and just about everyone knows that the “surprise” in place of Jack Parow is the pirate of the caravan park himself. Captain Morgan apparently abandoned sailing the high seas to bust Parow out of his fictitious stint in jail, just in time to perform to an audience rearing to exercise their gangster arms and spit out profanities along with the Afrikaans rapper.
Things are starting to get smelly
Crisis: Shortstraw and Jeremy Loops are scheduled to play in the same time slot. What’s an indie folk lover to do? Multitask, obviously.
Running between the looping whizz-kid at the James Phillips stage to Shortstraw’s second set for the weekend is worth it, as the band does an amusing cover of LCNVL’s “Sun In My Pocket” with Al Bairre’s Nicholas Preen.
Later, American electronic musician Robert DeLong proves why he’s been named one of MTV’s “Artists To Watch” as he does more than just push buttons to create sound.
Wielding a joystick, gamepads, drum pads, a drum kit and a Wii remote to control his vocals, DeLong takes live electronic music to another level with his frenetic live performance.
Straight after, Mango Groove’s first Oppikoppi performance draws one of the weekend’s biggest crowds to Wesley’s Dome. Goodness knows why it’s taken so long, but the wait is worth it for a set that includes the syrupy sound of that familiar pennywhistle and Claire Johnston encouraging everyone to dance, dance, dance some more.
Later on Deftones and Yellowcard are the perfect way to kiss goodbye a weekend of pleasure-seeking self-indulgence.