This year was colder than usual, which left several people running into Northam during the day for extra blankets, onesies and sherry. The turnout was big, despite the cold, with many taking the Monday off for a long weekend.
The festival kicked off on the Friday with headliners such as The Narrow, Khuli Chana, and The Plastics. Bittereinder was only for those brave enough to bear the cold until 01:00, but delivered a powerful set for those strong enough to be there.
Saturday was a full day, with the annual naked run taking place along with many other crafty activities. The comedy stage was a hit among the young as they all gathered to sit on sawdust while the sun set. The big music names of the day included Riky Rick, Aking, Sketchy Bongo, and Fokofpolisiekar. The Kiffness also wowed audiences with their energetic set and invited old UP student Bruce Thomson on stage to perform with them.
Sunday was the last day and the Oppi-goers were decidedly worse for wear after two solid nights of partying. Fortunately, the crowds were livened up by events such as the Reasonably Grand (dress-up) Parade and acts such as Petite Noir and Jack Parow, both to be commended on their talented bands.
The final evening also featured the international sets. Rapper Yelawolf left audiences in awe with his speedy speech,and social messages as well as his accompanying vinyl disc jockey. August Burns Red was a highlight for metalcore fans as they rocked out to heavy riffs on the James Phillips Stage. The final performance of note was from Kongos. The South African-born band felt happy to be home and delivered a singalong performance that evoked nostalgia and patriotism in many members of the audience. Their set also featured a number of new tracks from their recent album Egomaniac, which gave an added edge to the performance.
In the early hours of Monday, or the much later hours of the same day, cars began to trickle out of Mordor to head home to reality. This year’s festival was exciting, enjoyable and definitely worth the ticket money.
The Oppikoppi main stage. Photo: Kirsty Mackay