Before you say anything, yes – I’m giving you another guide to survive for a festival. Guides are often written by experts in the field and I guess that’s what I am when it comes to Up The Creek. I’m such a lover of small festivals that it makes my heart beat tjoklits and since there are newbies at this festival every single year my heart just wants to go out to them, so here goes.
Everyone has got to start somewhere and if it means that Up The Creek 2015 is your first one, well fucking done on choosing this festival. The R750 that you pay is more than just a ticket, it’s the start of something so awesome you won’t be able to describe it. After the festival you are going to get home dirty, hung over and with a smile wide enough to cover the whole Blyde River Canyon.
1. Expect Anything and Everything:
From the inside info I’ve been getting lately, I know things will be a little different this year, but it’s still Up The Creek as we know it. Don’t expect anything that you expect at every other festival you’ve been to. Don’t measure it to Oppikoppi, Splashy Fen or STRAB. Each festival is unique. What you can look forward to is clean bathrooms, warm water showers, enough to drink, enough to eat and of course an overload of music.
Camping is always a good one at Up The Creek, but take some shade with you. A gazebo works the best, but if you’re traveling far, travel light. A beach umbrella can do wonders for shade as well. The Western Cape sun can be a degree or two hotter closer to the temperature in hell, mark my words. (And that is coming from someone who lives in the Lowveld)
Music: well, you’ve probably seen the line-up. There is no need for me to tell how awesome it will be. Make sure you visit all the stages – at least the stages are not competing with eachother (AKA not running at the same time). So it will be easy to visit them all. Also have a look out for the MK Kombi which is a mobile stage (which will be driven by DJ Dirtroad and Baas De Beer).
2. Get “Stage Drunk”:
I don’t mean get on stage while you’re drunk (unless you are a rockstar that needs to) but get drunk in stages. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with drinking a Titanic at 10 AM (when the bar opens) but learn to drink a crap load of water while you’re moving between the stages.
Take a floating cooler box with you to the river this year. You might asking “Why?”. Well, if you do it, you don’t have to leave the amazing cooling waters of the Breede river while some kief band is jamming at the river stage, plus you make friends very quickly like that! If you’re feeling to drunk I suggest you get yourself to shore, you are human and you can drown. Once again: Hydrate yourself, drinking water is important at Up The Creek.
When the sun sets a lot of party animals crawl out of their drunk and babalas haze. Jagermeister is the only shooter you ever have to drink. If you’re not a big drinker, you will be educated after a weekend at Up The Creek *evil grin*
3. Enjoy and experience the music:
Okay, so the whole line up of Up The Creek is awesome. There will be some bands on there you might not have had the chance to see or you’ve never heard of. So to make things a little easier, here are a few names to look out for:
aKING, Red Huxley, The Black Cat Bones (if you have never seen them), Kite Rider (for comedy), Gerald Clark, The Fake Leather Blues Band, Piet Botha (a legend you have to watch), Shortstraw, Grassy Spark, Shawn Jacobs band, Taxi Violence (because they were amazing balls last year) – fuck it man, the whole lineup is cool – try not to miss a beat, just try it.
4. Pack Smart:
Your mother doesn’t need to pack your bags for you. If she has to then you’re either not 18 or older and not allowed at Up The Creek or you’re too much of a mamas boy / your daddy’s little princess to attend this festival. Up The Creek is for the rebels, the rock and rollers, the music lovers, the natural grey beards, the festival mice (or “fees muise”) and the don’t-care-if-I-didn’t-shave-my-legs people.
There are few things I know I can’t survive without so check out my packing checklist below:
- A tent first for shade, second for privacy (because you might score) and thirdly it’s a place to put all your shit.
- A pillow and blanket – a soft place to rest your head after hard party hours is heaven.
- A blankey (in case you’re sleeping alone and its cold).
- Clothes (no one wants to smell you after 3 days, so take clean underwear, clean shorts and shirts). Yes guys I know you can go all cave men but no lady is going to even take up your drink offer if you smell like Thursday night’s binge drinking and vomit stains. Some Sundays in the past have tended to be misty featuring light rain so bring a rain jacket or hoody along, just in case.
- The most important other than condoms are sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat. Unless you like feeling like a cooked lobster and look like an old piece of biltong aged 40 years. The sun is an evil one and most Up The Creatures have learnt this lesson. Sunglasses will make you look cool and take out the hectic reflection when you’re in the river.
- But other than above, you MUST take a floating device that you can float on. The major chain stores have very cool floating dolphins, crocodiles, whales, sharks, tubes and more. Find your flavour and take it with. If you can float when you in the river you are going to love it. To try and stand is just not cool after a while.
- Remember other things are like a flash light (it gets pretty dark after 9 PM), slops for walking the road to the river, shampoo (that can be used as a body wash as well), a towel and money (yes, there is an ATM but it can be a bitch if it wants to be so bring enough cash).
- Lock your cellphone in the car. There is no cell reception at the festival and if you really want to Instagram your way through this festival, you’ll waste valuable drinking time.
What I’ve always loved at Up The Creek is that you really know everyone by Sunday. The barmen, the staff, the musicians, the fellow Up The Creatures… You come as a stranger but leave as friends. More even you eventually get a Up The Creek family that you keep in contact with.
The spirit of Up The Creek will follow you for the rest of your life. It will open your heart to peace and love, will make you move to music, will have you singing “We are going to Up the Creek” way after the Black Cat Bones have sung it. You are going to miss tasting a Titanic and smelling the field in the early morning and the night sky.
Newbie Up The Creekers: You will only get your Up The Creatures badge after your first weekend at this festival.
To our fellow veteran Up The Creatures: It’s a party with you at the bar, and by that I mean buying Henno Kruger and Baas De Beer a Titanic or three. And yes girls, you may flash them. I approve.
A green cow, part of a heard of plastic / latex cows, spread between Nelspruit, Sabie and Cape Town. My owner adopted me when I only could speak Chinese, now I’m fluent in Afrikaans, English second language and cow.