Here’s something you should know about me: I’ve been labelled OCD more times than I can count. You can eat off the floor of my flat. During the vogue of fridge poetry, mine was arranged in alphabetical order. I colour-code my hangers, vacuum three times a week and I’m the girl who blows you off saying ‘I have to wash my hair’ and actually means it.
These are not really attractive qualities, I know. I’m just giving you some background.
Because there’s one place I throw caution to the disordered, dirty winds, and that’s a music festival. And nowhere more so than the annual whomper of a party we call Up The Creek (because that’s its name).
Picture the scene: one awesome river, happily devoid of crocs (unless you count the inflatable, floating kind). Three stages, one of which is set up in the river for maximum chilling. 30 of the best local bands, from never-heard-of-them-up-and-comers to the big boys of rock ‘n’ roll like Taxi Violence, aKing and Black Cat Bones (head here for a full line-up).
Oh, and, most importantly, countless Titanics, the official cocktail of Up The Creek: three shots of vodka, blue curacao and lemonade – party in a glass. A little sweet, maybe, but it goes down a treat after eight hours floating around in the sun.
Three days and nights – oh, the nights! – of music, camping, a warm river and plenty of whisky aren’t exactly conducive to Pantene hair and mud-free ankles. And you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way.
There’s no pretension here. No strategically hippy-esque dresses from The Lot paired with synthetic daisy crowns. (Was that catty? My apologies).
As organisers say: ‘It doesn’t matter whether you’re a staunch oke, a trance tripper, a hip hipster or a hip hop head. It doesn’t even matter if you’re a zombie robot. It doesn’t matter if you have big biceps or skinny jeans, or an ironic moustache, or a non-ironic one, at Up the Creek you can be yourself.’
Flashback to UTC 2014. It’s Saturday morning. After smashing a gargantuan plate of bacon and eggs to cure our morning-after-the-night-before heads, we trek on down to the river, inflatable animals and cooler boxes in tow. Our hearts harbour one intention: to spend the foreseeable future floating, drinking and rocking out in the Breede.
A good few hours (and even more blood-alcohol units) later, it’s time to get out of the sun. Of course, the easy walk up the hill suddenly seems interminable, and I last applied sunscreen to my lily-white skin an hour ago. No matter. My gin-sodden brain produces the perfect solution: dunk body in river one last time and roll around in the sand until completely coated. Effective sun protection, no? You can say it, I’m a feral genius.
Roll on Up The Creek 2015. Let’s get messy.
Where Breede River Valley (click here for directions)
When Thursday 29 January – Sunday 1 February
Cost R750 via NuTickets