In dust we trust – my first Oppi Koppi

This past weekend I attended my first OppiKoppi music festival, which happens in the heart of the dustland in Limpopo province. A lot get said about Oppi – some of it true, some not. I heard about a lot of «survival guides» before I went but I refrained from reading any of them, not wanting to have too many preconceived ideas.

Having survived, here are my tips and suggestions for someone desperate to prepare as much as possible:

– Stay at Kreef hotel unless you are into Bear Grylls roughing it. Kreef isn’t actually a hotel – it is a smaller campsite where the tents are put up for you, there are hot showers, places to charge your phone, hair dryers, and you get breakfast. Still portaloos though.

– if you stay at Kreef don’t wander into the main campsite unless you have some sort of system to get back out – gps, breadcrumbs, whatever. If you don’t have a system – and a torch – you will wander around hopelessly lost feeling like you’re on the set of the Blair Witch project. You will also get into a fight with a thorn bush and look like you made out with Edward Scissor Hands.

– Don’t make set plans. Give yourself up to the randomness. Make new friends, float around. Run into people. Teach strangers how to braai marshmallows at 4 in the morning. Keep an open mind at all times – except with bigots – you can tell them where to get off.

– Don’t drink Red Bull. 3 days of drinking that mixed with tequila or other spirits will make you feel like you’ve been transported into another reality.

– Enjoy the stars – the sky is really beautiful out there.

– The part you hear about the dust is true. It’s like being on an alien planet. It will get into every crevice of your body and stay there for days. It will make breathing hell.

– Leave on Sunday before the sun comes up. It makes leaving easier, makes it all feel like some strange beautiful dream. And you won’t have to sit in traffic.

Thank you Oppi Koppi. I’ll be back for sure.

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