File photo: Next weekend over 22 000 rock musos will descend on the small town of Northam to spend two nights under the stars in the desert. Picture: Matthews Baloyi

Northam, Limpopo - Next weekend over 22 000 rock musos will descend on the small town of Northam to spend two nights under the stars in the desert.

Known for freezing nights and sweltering days; all consuming dust; and all out rock ‘n roll mayhem, Oppikoppi not a festival for the faint-hearted. Those in the know treat the festival as a marathon, not a sprint, and prep well in advance. caught up with some of the South African artists playing this year, and got them to share their inside tips on travelling to and making the most of the iconic festival.


1. Hellcats – Warwick Rautenbach

“If you hate sitting in four-hour traffic, take an extra day off and leave the festival as early as possible on the Monday morning after the festival. Essentials to rock out with: extra water; snacks; Red Bull; and wet wipes.

“The best advice anyone ever gave me about attending this festival is that power naps will save your life. For peaceful power naps between sets or a comatose-like sleep, earplugs are great to block out the ongoing rage.”.


2. The Plastics – Karl Rohloff

“The drive is surprisingly long from Joburg so make sure you have some good tunes to listen to. Once there I would recommend trying to check out all of the stages. There are some great lesser known artists to discover”.


3. Grassy Spark – Kevin Kok

“To avoid leaving the festival smelling like a camp fire, bring at least one top that you only wear on your way home in the aeroplane, to avoid scaring off other passengers.

“Make sure you take plenty of Vitamin C along with you; as well as an old pair of shoes. Plant a neon light on top of your tent - navigating through hundreds of tents in the dark with a dull flashlight is not fun”.


4. Bye Beneco – Lenny Dee

“To travel to the ‘Koppi, the best bet for those from out-of-town is to fly into OR Tambo and get the EZ Shuttle, which organises an airport transfer to the festival, at an additional cost. Ensure you have enough sunblock for that relentless Northam sunshine. Some of the best local live acts are on one line-up, which means you could spend the whole day in the sun”.


5. Wonderboom - Martin Cito Otto

“If you’re driving to the ‘Koppi yourself, avoid getting lost and use the GPS co-ordinates provided on the Facebook page. My checklist usually consists of coffee (and all relative apparatuses), a bandana for dust and something warm for the evenings”.

For those planning a last minute trip to the festival, there are still good deals to be found.

Naturally, Johannesburg is the closest airport to the festival, with flights from Durban to Johannesburg starting at R998, and R1 597 from Cape Town to Johannesburg on

Adapted from a press release for IOL