MELISSA PARSONS

Every first year needs a list of events that cannot be missed. Time management is a key element when it comes to planning your social year, so choose wisely. Whether you can’t wait to bathe in the sweet dust of Oppikoppi or mosh it out at RAMfest, here’s where to be in 2013.

RAMfest (15-16 March)

RAMfest is a two-day alternative rock festival that takes place annually on Riversands Farm in Fourways. The headlining act this year is American punk-rock band Rise Against. Other international acts that will be performing include metal band Bring Me The Horizon, and Paul Harding and Ben Mount of Pendulum. RAMfest has been dubbed the “ultimate alternative music festival” and is an experience that alternative music fans of any kind should avoid missing at all costs.

National Arts Festival (27 June-7 July)

This year the 39th National Arts Festival will draw a host of students and adults alike to Grahamstown, the home of Rhodes University. Cue all the artistry you could dream of. This is a festival that attracts art patrons of all ages, but of course there are after parties that the oldies won’t have the energy to attend. The festival is all about innovation and setting the bar for future trends in the world of art. For those of the attendees who are not artistically inclined, the festival serves up a platter of the best local and international music, comedy and opera. This is a festival that will keep you entertained for 11 days, though whether you spend your time watching the shows or in one of the local pubs is all up to you.

Oppikoppi (9-11 August)

Ah Oppi. It’s the home away from home that you won’t want to leave once you’ve arrived. This three-day musical feast has thousands of students flocking to Northam to get their annual fix of local and international talent as well as a party that will leave you bruised, abused and thoroughly euphoric. Don’t forget your wet wipes, tequila and a party hat. None of the acts for 2013 have been announced yet, but be ready to experience a mix of genres and talent that will blow your mind. Oppikoppi will steal your heart, so make sure to keep some tissue paper for the ride home when post-Oppi blues inevitably set in.

Aardklop (2-6 October)

Aardklop is the Afrikaans National Arts Festival. The festival has been running for 17 years and offers a variety of drama, dance, music and art. Though Aardklop focuses mainly on Afrikaans language and culture, it is an opportunity for speakers of all languages to be introduced to some diverse genres and entertainment.

The festival prides itself on giving artists the chance to reach a much larger audience than they usually would. This festival promises a more chilled vibe than the others with a craft market and some jazz and blues to keep festival goers relaxed.

Rocking the Daisies (4-7 October)

Every year thousands of hippies journey to the Kloof Wine Estate in Darling to experience the entertainment, lifestyle and gourmet food that this eco-friendly festival has to offer. Rocking the Daisies is a festival with a conscience that operates with the motto: “party hard, tread lightly”. Festival goers can expect a range of innovative and environmentally friendly products up for grabs. The festival offers four music stages, a comedy tent and a cinematic dome, just in case the constant partying has you worn out. Can anyone else hear a road trip calling?

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