Every year, music lovers from around the country make their pilgrimage to a big farm near a little town called Northam – hoping for a killer line-up, a debaucherous weekend, and expecting to go home at the end of it with dust in every crevice of their bodies. This year’s Oppikoppi sold out completely for the first time in the festival’s 16-year history, and it did not disappoint.
Entering the farm is a bit like stepping onto a foreign planet: one where beer grows on trees, you really do love your neighbours (at least for the duration of the weekend) and good music is mandatory.
Although some festival goers expressed concern about the line-up, it did cover a range of music tastes. Rock acts featured predominantly, but other genres such as rap, dance and hip hop were also included.
Memorable performances included Yesterday’s Pupil, Haezer and Flash Republic, who all got the crowds dancing and kept them at it long into the night. Van Coke Kartel also delivered, as expected, while Oppikoppi newcomers Blk Jks impressed the audience and undoubtedly gained some new fans.
But of course, the local bands weren’t the only ones making waves.
Philadelphia Grand Jury, an Australian indie-punk band (who knew such a thing existed?), took charge of the stage with an extremely high-energy set. Apart from their own songs, their set included an impressive cover of the Jay Z hit, “99 Problems”.
Lucky Fonz III, a one-man acoustic act from the Netherlands, can only be described as charming in person and engaging as a musician. His simple melodies and quirky lyrics (not to mention his adorable accent and mannerisms) won the audience over.
And let’s not forget the hotly anticipated Canadian rock outfit, Billy Talent. Their infectious energy and flawless set got the crowd’s attention and kept it, and even those who were not die-hard Billy Talent fans seemed to enjoy the show.
But sadly, not all the bands lived up to expectations. Most notably, Die Heuwels Fantasties. Although they delivered in terms of instrumentation, lead singer Pierre Greeff’s performance left something to be desired. According to the band’s official Twitter account, a head cold and the dust were responsible for Greeff’s lacklustre vocals.
On Monday morning, the little rock ‘n roll village of Oppikoppi began to clear out. Covered in dust and battle scars from thorns, people began to head home towards a shower (the first in three days for most) and a warm bed.
Whether you were one of the lucky folk to have attended the festival or if you stayed home this year, relive the memories (and maybe regain some lost ones) or alternatively see what you missed out on by checking out our band interviews on pages 6 & 7 and the OppiKoppi photo diary on page 8.