This beautiful South African festival has grown a lot over the years. Starting back in May of 1994 with just a hundred people and a basic tiny bar, OppiKoppi now sees around 20,000 people each year and has 7 stages. Originally the festival started off with the focus on rock music and was even considered the stimulation of the 90’s South African rock music movement.
As trends and styles come and go OppiKoppi has expanded to cater for all music tastes and now includes blues, metal, hip-hop, hardcore, punk, indie, house, folk, drum n bass, jazz, and many more. The festival is a unique experience where you can expect the weird the wonderful and the downright crazy. 2018’s line-up includes Above Atlas, 25K, Bam Bam Brown, Akkedis, Bad Peter, Batuk, Bed On Bricks, The Barbosa Experience, and a lot more. Artists perform live throughout the day and well into the night until around 2 am. Comedians take the stage during the afternoon as well as local acts and upcoming artists.
Walking through the festival venue you will see handmade statues, wacky costumes, and traditional African décor. During the festival entertaining competitions are held for anyone to compete in where the winners will win tickets for next year’s festival. Although parts of South Africa have a negative reputation for being violent the festival is thoroughly monitored to ensure everyone has the best time possible. The atmosphere throughout the festival is energetic and fun where campsite parties include everyone.
The festival is situated on OppiKoppi Farm which is in Northam in the Limpopo province of South Africa. The closest airport to the event is Johannesburg. From there you can either drive or plan a public transport route to Northam which is 207km from the airport.
The OppiKoppi farm is pretty much in the middle of nowhere so arranging transport from Northam to the farm will mean either getting a taxi or tagging along with other festival goers via social media.
The dates for this year’s festival is on Thursday the 9th of August until Saturday the 11th of August. Festival passes are sold for the whole weekend only and cost around R675 which works out at around $50. This festival is definitely one of the cheaper festivals to attend around the world, but it only accepts over 18’s.
The festival passes include basic camping meaning you will need to bring your own tents. Onsite glamping options are available in Klein Windhoek tent hotel, Kreef hotel, and Harambee hotel. These options provide sleeping equipment and some offer hot showers, fires, room service and tea or coffee.
Northam is quite a small town, however, there are a couple of lodges, guesthouses and apartment rentals to choose from. If you plan on sticking around to explore the beautiful Limpopo region then you could always travel to one of the many nearby towns for a change of scenery. Thabazimbi is 54km away but there are several towns a lot closer including Mononono, Rustenburg, and Swartklip.
Almost anywhere you go in South Africa will provide you with plenty of entertainment but of course one of the most popular activities here is a safari. Whilst Northam is a rather small town there are many neighboring areas with many activities.
A 2-hour drive will take you to Bela Bela where you can spend the day with elephants. You will learn all about the elephants, get to know their personalities, play with the baby elephants and paddle in the water with them, a true South African experience. Also in Bela Bela, there is ziplining, hiking trails, golf, horse riding, and a hot spring along with stunning scenery and some of South Africa’s best restaurants.
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