The Breede River near Swellendam. Not many people would know where this place is. I do. Because I was there over the weekend. And now it will be forever stuck in my mind as one of the coolest weekends that I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. At one point I was floating down a river in a real-life life boat (complete with flares, covering and women in bikinis), surrounded by a couple of hundred people (all swimming and having a great time), with a captains hat on…while watching blonde twins (one in a black and one in white) ballerinas dance a duet that would bring a tear to even the most hardened of eyes…while keeping an eye on a raft, just yonder, that flew a pirates flag.
This is just one of the many random experiences Up The Creek Music Festival had to offer. Hendri asked me last minute to join him on the weekend. He had it sold with, “dude its chilled, there’s a river and lots of women in bikinis.” I had no idea that he was being completely literal and was actually underselling the festival.
I managed to catch a lift there with a lovely young lady named Bianca. It is a two and a half hour drive. Let me rephrase, a two and a half hour drive of epic beauty. We arrived as the sun was going down and managed to squeeze a quick beer in before the tent was up. Then it was off into the party, that was well on its way already. Fast forward a couple of hours and you have me lying in the middle of a band watching crowd, staring at the stars, discussing a play that a new friend I met, is busy writing. Her idea: Star Wars meets Shakespeare. Then all of a sudden it was morning. A blue drink called ‘the Titanic’ may have had something to do with that.
It was hot. Too hot to sleep much passed sun rise. So up I got. One breakfast pita later and the mystery of the Titanic was explained. Three shots cane, sprite, blue curacou and lime. The only response I had was to get another and find my way to the river. The much talked about river. Walking down to the bank, my eyes feasted on, what could only be, a million people standing in the water around a stage. A stage that was set up in the middle of the river. Blow-up beds and frisbees littered the water and laughter thickened the air. I was in my happy place.
There was an almost 60 degree slippery slide into the river.
The vibe was nothing short of spectacular. The sun was hot but the river was cool. It was the perfect mix of a house party and a festival. And man, are people chilled. Everyone is ready to have a good time, end of story. The banks were filled with life too; a makeshift stage held a dance off from across the world. Tangos with a beat, ballet – old school style and so on. It was then that I discovered the ultimate party-river vessel. The Life Boat. I quickly made friends and took over captaincy. And we drifted. Zunch. And the world seemed to be perfect. It was.
The afternoon came and I new that I was on my way to making good on my drink (the Titanic) and begin sinking. I slipped away for an afternoon power nap and woke up to find myself on the deck of a titanic once more. The afternoon turned into evening and the evening turned in to bliss. The music was a great mix of chilled rock and blues. The vibe was that of happiness and kinship. And the party was that of epic and awesome.
Special mention to Desmond and the Tutus for rocking out as usual, The Free Radicals for their amazing show on the river and Jaime and the Beard – I fell in love with Jaime twice. Voice of an angel face of beauty and she jams with a guy that has a beard that would rival Zeus.
Up The Creek Music Festival is one of those ‘not to miss’ events. The music is good, the food is good, the venue is awesome and the vibe is. There are no words to describe it. Like a noob I forgot to take one photo, but I will put some up when I see some on Faceplace.
Absolutely amazing, the best weekend of my life.
All photos courtesy of the life boat crew, Judy and co. Thank you.