The lovely young behind the unsea: a look at the 2016 Oppi theme

JULIA BAIN

South Africa’s biggest music festival is around the corner and those with tickets are getting excited. There are many that wish to dress up to the theme, but this year’s The Unsea seems a bit abstract. Our interview with Hilltop Live, Oppikoppi’s organisers, will give festival lovers a greater insight into the inspiration and meaning behind 2016’s The Unsea.

 

The inspiration behind the choice of theme for this year’s Oppi comes from a song by Gert Vlok Nel. Why was this particular song chosen?

We love Gert; he is a good friend of Oppikoppi and a regular contributor. It was time for one of his songs and shô, is it not one of the most mystical and magical songs written in South Africa?

 

Can you elaborate on the meaning behind Nel’s song?

The title of the song is “For those in peril on the sea”. The first verse includes all human beings: and for the lovely young taken to the sea for the first time / and for the unlovely unyoung taken to the sea for the last time / and for the unlovely young taken to the sea / and for the lovely young taken to the unsea. It is written like a prayer. The empathy and care about loss and being lost in this world as we currently know it, written in such a gentle and whimsical style and obviously fun like one would have that is taken to the sea or the unsea for the first time.

 

For the photography art, how was Daniel Naude chosen to head up this work?

We like to represent many genres in our music line-up; the same goes for the artworks that get chosen. This year it was time for photography and we have always liked Daniel’s work. Maybe you know this but the Bull Terrier has always been an Oppikoppi mascot. It was time to bring him back.

 

How did the concept for Naude’s artwork come into being?

We asked a few of our friends in the Cape, where Daniel works, to audition their Bullies for the job and in the end we found a lovely white male to pose on the beach. He had quite a bit of biltong and snacks to do what Daniel wanted and in the end he got that great shot.

 

What does The Unsea as a theme mean to Hilltop Live as the organisers and theme choosers for Oppikoppi?

The theme celebrates the young, but the rest of the song includes everybody, also the wiser older ones who have seen many things and will be “taken to the sea for the last time”. We like this whimsical sense of adventure. Oppikoppi is not an age thing, it’s mindset, always have been. Oppikoppi loves metaphors and word play, see and sea. [It’s about] having an open mind, having experience, etc.

 

What is the most important thing that Oppikoppi goers should know about The Unsea?

To not think about it all so much.

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