With Oppikoppi Odyssey approaching at rapid speed, and with tension building all around us, we can only get excited as hell for the festival! It’s around the dusty corner, and prawns from in and around South Africa are already busy stocking up and giving their livers a pep talk. With this in mind, we thought we should ask a few Oppikoppi festival-goers a couple of questions about the festival, and delve into some of their past experiences.

We had a chat with Kobus “Phoenix” van Rooyen about Oppikoppi Odyssey, and here’s what he had to say:

My name is Kobus “Phoenix” van Rooyen, and this year will be the second time I will run the main stage at Koppi. I’ve been in the music business for about ten years, and this year will also mark my tenth Koppi as well as the fifth one that I work at. I’ve been to music festivals near and far, but to me, Oppikoppi is the best festival in the world.

KOBUS

 

1. If you could describe Mordor/District 9 in one word, what would it be?

– Perilous.

2. Ever pick up any injuries at Oppikoppi? If so, how did it happen?

– I picked up a drum riser last year and it slipped and knocked me on my knee. I didn’t have time to go to the medic to get it strapped so I strapped it with industrial strength duct tape. Fun times. Also, I stand 12 – 20 hours of the day at Koppi, which after a week, really destroys your feet.

3. Who, according to you, is the must-see act this year at Oppikoppi?

– There are so many! Rival Sons is at the top of my list and I reckon the Albert Frost/Dan Patlansky Colab is going to be ridiculously amazing. Those guys are the gold standard of what blues guitar is in SA after all.

4. What’s the perfect babelas meal at Oppikoppi, and will you vouch that it works?

– I don’t get wasted whilst working, but I always get fucked up on the last night. My go to meal is scrambled eggs and bacon, Powerade Jagged Ice and several Mybulins. It works for me. Also, I make sure I puke everything that’s left out before I eat. I want my meals to stay down.

5. Do you have any backstage/media area stories that you’ve been keeping from the world? If so, please elaborate!

-What I love the most is when artists who have backstage passes think that means they get to hang around while other people are performing. It doesn’t work like that. I like chasing them away. You’d think there would be amazing backstage stories, but most artist are professional in their conduct and we all understand what needs to happen to make a festival like Koppi work. There was however that one time someone puked everywhere on stage. Which of course, wasn’t fun for anyone. He doesn’t do that anymore.

6. What’s the most random question you’ve ever been asked at Oppikoppi?

– A guy asked me if the dog that was walking next to me was my dog. There was definitely no dog…

Kobus2

7. A day in the life of the main stage manager at Oppikoppi, is it hard? And what exactly happens in those 24 hours?

– It’s hard work. But I can’t do what I do without the great crew that I usually have. The guys from Blue Array and Stage Effects are amazing.

In general you get up at 05;00 or 06:00am, then you have breakfast, then you have a production meeting. Then you go and set up/clean your stage. Then you make sure that every act starts and runs on time. You make sure that people get fed, that problems are noticed and resolved. You make sure that you liaise with your backstage crew so that everything there also goes according to plan. You make sure security is tight and that they know what they are doing. You keep unwanted elements off the stage. And in between it all, you make sure that you still have fun. You go to sleep at about 02:00am and then you do it all over again the next day. But it’s worth it, because you love what you do.

We would like to thank Kobus for his time and advice regarding Oppikoppi! Oppikoppi will be from the 7th to 9th of August this year. If you happen to see Kobus on stage, be sure to give him a Bluetooth High Five.

  • Christo de Beer

    Schweet interview with the best stage manager I have ever had the privilege of working with.
    Even at small gigs, he doesn’t disappoint, and as for the big ones, just take a look at how smooth his Koppi stage functions and you’ll know…