Looking Back at Up the Creek 2018
Up the Creek 2018 in Words and Pictures
For some time Up the Creek has been my end of ever-long-January escape. A three-day break from all the new year’s resolutions and back-at-work bullshit that the first month of the new year is known for. The festival’s setting on the banks of the beautiful Breede River, of course, contributes to this in a big way (I mean, you’ve seen the pictures of the sea of colourful floaties!), as well as the fact that they cap the tickets at 2000 (small compared to other festivals) – and “no VIP nonsense”, as they always advertise.
This year, the line up clearly showed that the festival is seeking more diversity, compared to other years, with a variety of new and old acts. The organisers also booked Fokofpolisiekar and Mango Groove as headliners for this year’s event. I thought the Bellville rockers to be an interesting choice for the festival, but nonetheless one I looked forward to.
A new addition to this year’s festival was the use of the Howler cashless system, and it worked really well. This means that you could top up your wristband before the event and only had to worry about money again when you had to reload it. Easy and smart!
For the second year in a row, it rained on Friday and Saturday night. And as I’ve come to know the Creek crowds, it didn’t stop anyone from continuing the party and supporting the acts on all the stages! It was also an amazing thing to see how the river came down after the much-needed rainfall (compare the above after-photo with this image taken by Leah Rolando).
Stand out acts include Yannick Meyer’s act, Native Young, on Friday night. It was a fantastic opening set for Mango Groove (well done, organisers!), and an artist I will definitely follow in the future. Of course the legendary Mango Groove, themselves, was a treat! I could see a few tears as Claire Johnston sang Moments, and the energy peaking with nostalgia and joy as they performed their famous song, Special Star. And it really was a special performance at the festival and one that I’m very glad I had the privilege to see. Lastly, rockers Southern Wild was another highlight on the Friday night with a highly energetic and passionate performance (and well done on scoring a place as one of the opening acts for Incubus, by the way!).
On Saturday, BRYNN stood out as a favourite. There’s just something about Hezron Chetty’s violin and lead-singer’s Jules Terea’s vocals mixed together (and well done too for bagging a spot on the Incubus line up!). Albert Frost showed once again why he is one of SA’s best guitarists and gave a brilliant performance with fellow virtuoso Schalk Joubert. Later, Nomadic Orchestra entertained with their upbeat, dance-until-you-can-no-more tunes – always lifting the spirits just a notch higher.
It seemed as if Fokofpolisiekar had quite a short set, however they gave the fans what they were looking for: some proper rock n roll. We left for camp as Veranda Panda kicked off the last stretch of the night with some late night beats.
In true Up the Creek tradition, the music carried on throughout Sunday morning with artists such as Bongeziwe Mabandla, Riaan Smit and Lucy Kruger. Weather-wise, it was probably the most beautiful day at the festival. Those that weren’t too weak braced the river with colourful donuts, swans and other interesting inflatables.
I have to say, I was very excited about this year’s line up and eager to see the crowd’s response. It was definitely a small step in a more inclusive direction for the festival and might take some more experimenting, but I have no doubt that they will continue to bring top-notch acts for many years to come.
If you’ve always wondered about Up The Creek, I promise you: the beautiful images and honey-sweet reviews doesn’t do it justice. You have to go witness it for yourself. But, remember, only if you’re an awesome human who enjoys sharing beer, dancing and relaxing on a lilo should you try it!
Cheers Up the Creek!