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Oppikoppi | Fake Acid Trips in Mordor

by Nechama Brodie / 08.08.2011

Text #1, 13:48 – Overheard at Oppikoppi: “do you like my hat? I’m a muser. that’s muso dude / ohmygod I just spoke french / oppi. koppi. / do you have Barney Simon’s number?”

Text #2, 14:16 – The unwritten rules of Oppikoppi: you can get sunburnt, even at night. There will always be somebody younger, hotter, wilder, someone with more tattoos. Then you will stand behind a guy in a wifebeater and gold leggings, or a girl in a bunny hat, and think: I’m okay. Black Hotels will now sing The Donkey Raping Cockmaster (their words not mine).

Text #3, 15:48 – Late afternoon on the last day of Oppikoppi and everyone is feeling a bit rough and tired. They have sold out of Koppi T-shirts (except at the Kreef, where they have long sleeve ones. But you have to be a VIP to get there). Now off to watch Michelle Shocked as the sun dips. If you’ve never heard her, Google her early stuff – “Anchorage” and “Come A Long Way” are a good start. Someone just handed me a vodka and orange. Gotta go.


Text #4, 16:15 – Michelle Shocked just made me cry. All love, all heart for Oppikoppi, and 10 years of sobriety. I’m right at the front, singing along to every song. When I grow up I want to be Michelle.

Text #5, 15:49 – I think someone just called Michelle Shocked ‘tannie’.

Text #6, 17:25 – Is it me or do blues sound better in the bushveld than anywhere else? Watching Dan Patlansky live for the first time. It’s incredible. Even the boy with the bare chest and muffin top cannot kill the buzz. BTW he is doing “i’m the king of the world” (Titanic) on top of a table. with his girlfriend. Goodness, I can’t decide whether I hope he falls off or not. Probably not.


Text #7, 17:27 – Ick. The couple on the table now seem to be doing some kind of simulated sex act. Am so disturbed I am passing on the free Windhoek scarves two girls are passing out.

Text #8, 17:52 – Sunset from the Cuervo deck again. A pall of smoke hangs over Mordor. Love seeing the campsite sprawling across the farm. You don’t have to be mad to come here but it helps.

Text #9, 18:19 – Just told a drunk wanker to shut the fuck up so I can listen to Laurie Levine. He told me I was a hatee and that he was just looking for the drummer from the Tuindwergies.

Reply #1, 18:20 – You Laurie’s bouncer now?

Text #10, 18:21 – About to bounce the sound guys at the gig. Don’t send a boxer to a mic fight. Levels all over the show. And it’s a shame because Laurie is amazing live, and her new album is lovely.


Text #11, 19:15 – Oppikoppi backwards is IPPOKIPPO. It feels like most of the 16000 strong crowd have come to watch David Kramer. Musicians are having fun hanging with other musicians. The kids are making top hats out of dooswyn boxes. Dis fantasties hier Oppikoppi. ne? Ja.

Text #12, 19:47 – “No ma’am the press area is closed. We have cleared the area for an international band.” (I cannot take a pee in the media toilet in case my wee offends Ninja and Yolandi).

Text #13, 20:04 – Gord Laws says he’s taken acid. Must be making weaker shit these days because he’s still making sense on stage. And name checking the sponsors.


Text #14 22:01 – It’s 26.6km to our lodge, we’ve got a rental car and half a pack of cigarettes. Let’s hit it. Watched a very dark Lark electro – blown away, again, by Inge Beckmann’s voice. But the music offered scant comfort among the dust and cold. At the end of the festival the crowd starts to unravel even as people congregate in their masses to catch the big acts. We left as The Used were about to start, running 40 mins late. Michelle Shocked said it best: “the secret to a long life’s knowing when it’s time to go.”

Text #15, 08:09 – Unknown Brother, where art thou? Even as my eyes shrank against the dust and my mouth was coated with grit and my nose bled from the dry and the dirt, I woke up this morning wanting to do it all over again. It’s partly about the music – there’s always so much to see – and partly about the people. When you rock out with 16000 other folk, sometimes you make new friends. Sometimes you also find yourself unexpectedly alone. Last night big Gord Laws said “tomorrow we all have to go back to our shitty jobs / lives / etc”. But this is my job. This is my life. Wherever you go there you are, and if a festival reminds you of anything it’s the hey-fuck-wow of being in the moment. PS – Gord: telling David Kramer to shut the fuck up? Not cool. I’m going to stop there.


*Images sourced on the Twitter-verse.

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