Waking up at 9 am was already considered late for the hardcore beer-drinkers at the Oppikoppi Easter Festival. We walked from our tents to the outdoor bathrooms to brush our teeth as a group of people returned from playing a round of beer golf and began their morning braai of sausages and eggs. “Four!” shouted a drunk man as he swung his golf club at the beer can he had just drained.
Drinking made up just a fraction of the festivities during the weekend festival, where bands – mostly from South Africa – came together for three days to play rock and punk against the backdrop of the hills in Northam, Limpopo Province.
Still recovering from that weekend, I am not exactly sure how my friends and I arrived at the decision to rent a yellow “rent-a-wreck” Toyota – which we lovingly referred to as Moshoeshoe – for the weekend. Or how we managed to navigate off our newly-bought South African atlas and drive probably the longest route to the festival, then pitch a few almost-broken tents for a music lineup of Afrikaans bands we had never heard of before. Yet, here I am, sunburnt and tired, ears ringing with the chorus of our new favourite act, Fokofpolisiekar – which means exactly what you think.
Not only did we hear a slew of new music – from Chris Chameleon and Narrow to the Parlortones – we made a host of Afrikaans friends, who stopped us from making an apparently huge mistake – leaving before “the best bands of course.”
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Exhausted from all Oppikoppi’s goings on, we had packed up Moeshoeshe and were about to leave when a blonde, curly-haired Tarzan threw a football over and asked us “foreigners,” as he called us, to throw it back. We were invited into the shade of his tents for a few “Klippies” – a brandy and Coke creation that fits all too perfectly with the situation. Tarzan and his friends even opened the bottles for us… with their teeth.
Another weekend, another slice of South African culture.
Next stop: Capetown!