Event organisers - "with a mixed bag of emotions" - on Wednesday announced the postponement of the 25th edition annual music festival, OppiKoppi, till 2020.
Taking to its official social media pages, they issued an official statement citing their reasons for taking a gap year, emphasising that the decision was not "taken lightly".
"For 24 years, OppiKoppi has been going great guns. Unfortunately, in 2018 we experienced the rampant crime currently impacting events and festivals across South Africa. For us to present the 2019 event with the increased security measures that are required to curb this crime to present a safe and enjoyable festival, the production costs also increase drastically," the statement read.
Greetings South Africans. It is with a mixed bag of emotions, that we announce the postponement of the 25th edition of the annual music festival, OppiKoppi, till 2020.— Oppikoppi Festival (@oppikoppi) April 10, 2019
Read more: https://t.co/ri45MkAFs5
📷: @henry_e pic.twitter.com/rF9P0l8Ubr
"By taking a gap year, we are giving ourselves the breathing room to redesign the festival and bring in the necessary changes without impacting the festival goer by increasing ticket prices. We believe that in doing this, we will bring everyone a fresh new festival, ready to take music lovers forward for the next 25 years.
"Globally, live music festivals are constantly evolving, and even more so in South Africa. We are very proud of the moves we have made and the direction of the festival, but we feel like we needed to take a step back and start with a completely clean slate. It is an opportunity for us to take a look at what our tribe of fun-loving fans want, where they want it, and for how long.
"The team is relooking every single brick that builds a festival in South Africa. We are even investigating bringing the festival to a venue closer to a major city, to enable day tickets, less travelling and other options for the attendees. All options are open. Nothing is out of question.
We realise that a festival like OppiKoppi has a significant role to play in the South African music scene, along with a critical social cohesion role that it has been playing for many years. We are 100% up for it BUT we want to do it right."
Soon after the news broke, festival enthusiasts took to social media to express their disappointment. One Twitter user wrote: "I think I need the rest of the week off.. shuu i'm dizzy. I need to plan the next steps tsa my life. Oppi really threw me off f*k (sic)"
See more reactions below.
It had to be the year I decide to go Oppi that the festival gets cancelled 😔— shadile gumede 🌻 (@byshadile) April 10, 2019
No Oppi this year pic.twitter.com/3wrrVeQOcX— Tiro🛸 (@Tyro_M) April 10, 2019
No Oppi this year? pic.twitter.com/WLrs1aSFeB— Freak Na Más (@NeoBaepii) April 10, 2019