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Oppikoppi is a music festival held in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, near the mining town of Northam. The festival started off focusing mostly on rock music, but gradually added more genres and now plays host to a complete mixed bag of genres. Anything from jazz, world music, house music, acoustic, comedy and all else in between can be heard on one of the multiple stages. Each year on the second weekend of August thousands of people flock to the farm to camp out in the bush and enjoy the music for several days. The festival features mostly South African bands, although international acts are included in the line-up, especially now that Oppikoppi is becoming more successful.

BACKGROUND

"Oppikoppi" is a colloquial abbreviation of the Afrikaans phrase "op die koppie", which literally means "on the hill".[1] The camping area is at the foot of a hill, on top of which is a bar and a stage that features all the hip hop and dance acts, while the main stages feature all of the big acts and most of the rock bands. Oppikoppi has several stages where many simultaneous performances take place.

HISTORY

The festival started in 1994, with 27 local talents performing to a small crowd of enthusiasts. It has since grown substantially, with the addition of many new stages and thousands of people turning up each year. The festival is regarded by some as the primary influence in jump-starting the South African rock music movement in the late 90's. It attracts thousands of attendees annually.

According to the organizers they have "rolled bakkies, burnt tents, driven over knees, slept in jails, slept outside jails and turned over several stones to make gigs and festivals work."

In 2008, the Daily Mirror ranked Oppikoppi as the 4th best music festival in the world.

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Glen Ansell added a new event 3 years ago

Oppikoppi 2015

Oppikoppi is a music festival held in the Limpopo Province...

  • Wednesday, 05 August 2015 12:00 AM
  • Oppikoppi D869 Northam 0360
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THE SPLASHY STORY

 

From its early beginnings back in 1990, Splashy Fen has evolved into one of South Africa’s premier music festivals which nowadays sees thousands of people making the annual pilgrimage to Underberg in KwaZulu-Natal for what is regarded by many as the ‘ultimate outdoor experience’.

 

Over the years, this much-loved festival has built a strong reputation as being a financially viable, responsible and well-organised event that continues to reinvent itself so as to stay relevant. Although continuously adapting to changing trends, Splashy Fen has nevertheless managed to retain its unique character and appeal; that special ‘something’ – the people, the vibe, the sense of family – which has allowed it to endure for two decades to become the longest-running music festival in the country.

 

So Where Did It All Start?

 

ferraz

 

The idea of holding a music festival first came to Peter Ferraz and his wife Almary when they attended the Festival of the Flower Children at Woburn Abbey in England in 1967. The experience made a lasting impression on the couple and, many years later, after buying a farm near Underberg in the Southern Drakensberg, they finally started working on making their dream a reality.

 

“We realised immediately that the farm was perfect for a music festival,” recalls Ferraz. “With its natural amphitheatre, great acoustics, breathtaking mountain vistas, winding river and lots of fields for camping, no one could ask for a more ideal setting.”

 

So, while it may have taken several decades for the grand plan to come together, the inaugural Splashy Fen Music Festival duly made South African history in October 1990.

 

Held over two days, its original aim according to Ferraz, was “to have a really good time with a few musicians playing round campfires, joined by some truly passionate music-lovers.” No one was more surprised than Ferraz when, instead of the anticipated attendance of 200, they attracted 1 200 enthusiasts, who camped under the stars and listened to artists like Tony Cox, the Silver Creek Mountain Band, Plagal Cadence and Syd Kitchen.

 

Infrastructure was rudimentary – a make-shift stage, a tractor-powered generator and a few portable toilets. “There was no Eskom then,” recalls Ferraz. “Power was provided by my ancient little tractor driving an erratic farm generator. Every so often the music would stop for 20 minutes while the tractor was refuelled, but nobody complained. The foundations for today’s mellow Splashy vibe were laid right then and there.

 

A late snowfall on the final day of the festival also failed to act as a deterrent, but later saw Splashy’s positioning on the calendar change to early May and more recently to the Easter long-weekend.

 

Despite all this, the pioneering Splashy Fen Music Festival was so successful that another was organised the following year, and the year after that – and so began the saga of an event that has become an integral part of the South African music scene.

 

Celebrating 20+ Festivals

 

Over the years, this unique festival has certainly made its mark – not only on the lives of all those loyal ‘Splashy Fenners’ and the musicians who have graced its stages, but also on the South African music scene as a whole. Splashy Fen is, quite simply, Splashy Fen. There’s nothing else quite like it and long may it continue!

 

Although no longer involved in the day-to-day running of the festival, having handed this responsibility over to C-Weed Entertainment Promotions in 2010, says Ferraz: “It’s important to me that Splashy Fen continues long into the future – it’s become an institution that brightens the lives of everyone involved and all the people who have helped it endure for so long.”

 

 

 

SPLASHY’S GROWTH

 

Expansion

 

Today, Splashy Fen prides itself on offering festival-goers a total entertainment ‘package’ that goes beyond great live music performances to include a wide choice of outdoor leisure and adventure activities for the whole family, as well as a multitude of different food and drinks outlets, colourful craft stalls and a children’s entertainment marquee and crèche. Also on offer are much-improved camping facilities, a separate family campsite and even a tent hotel.

 

Ferraz is quick to point out, however, that although efforts are continuously made to introduce fresh ideas, the basic formula of providing a therapeutic break from the real world coupled with top-quality entertainment, remains the same.

 

“Nobody can ever say that Splashy Fen is the same old thing year after year. On the contrary, we are always on the look-out for new ways to enhance the festival but never at the risk of losing the special ambience that is unique to Splashy and sets us apart from other festivals.”

 

Lessons learned and expertise gained over the years means that attendees can expect only the very best in terms of production and event management, which is now slicker and more professional than ever before.

 

Infrastructure has also been built up to support the growing festival. This includes Eskom power and stand-by generators, public telephones, permanent and temporary ablution facilities and a marquee ‘village’ to accommodate the different stages, bar areas, security and medical services. Tons of sound, stage and lighting equipment is assembled each year to ensure that the quality of the sound matches the quality of the music.

 

The most recent development is the widening and re-grading of the festival access road in 2008, which will do much to avoid bottlenecks in the event of heavy rains.

 

Attendance

 

In terms of numbers, attendance has grown to a point where Splashy Fen now attracts in the region of 10 000 people annually from all corners of the country and abroad.

 

With its family-friendly ethos, the festival appeals to people of all ages. In fact, research conducted by Tourism KwaZulu-Natal in 2010 revealed that 10% of attendees were under 20 years of age, while 56% were aged 21-30, and 34% were over 30. Another interesting point is that 34% of attendees had not been to Splashy previously, which is a good indicator of continued longevity. The majority of attendees also stayed for the full four nights of the festival.

 

But what of the impact on the environment? Well, according to Ferraz, most festival-goers spend their time on previously cultivated fields which can again be put under the plough for agriculture. As for the wilder areas, the number of people present over the Splashy weekend probably has less impact than a herd of cattle over several months!

 

Splashy Fen has also adopted a ‘no glass’ policy. While glass may be more ‘green’ than plastic (which is easily cleared up after the event), broken bottles and the like are not only an immediate danger to festival-goers but also a long-term hazard to the livestock whose grazing pastures are being ‘borrowed’ for the festival weekend.

 

Also worth mentioning is the fact that, as the festival has grown, so too have the donations made to charitable organisations. Each year, the festival’s beer garden/bar area is operated by the Sani 152 Round Table and all profits are donated to deserving causes and community upliftment projects.

 

Other spin-offs include the festival’s ongoing contribution to economic growth in the local community and province through job creation, business opportunities and increased tourism.

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Glen Ansell added a new event 3 years ago

Splashy Fen 2015

THE SPLASHY STORY From its early beginnings back in 1990,...

  • Thursday, 02 April 2015 12:00 AM
  • -29.7996139,29.3537917
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