Yes, I even made a hashtag for it… Even though the said girls who were (up the creek) with me aren’t on twitter. Good chance they don’t even know how to work twitter, or what a hashtag is. I made it anyway.
I started writing this blog post about my whole experience as I sat in the backseat on the way home after very little sleep and a whole lot more redbull from my first South African music festival. But I didn’t get very far mostly because I had those shakes that you get from too much redbull and Ems and the bridesmaid were playing soppy Taylor Swift songs and no-one can concentrate with that shit.
Look, the build up to going on a girls weekend Up the Creek is a whole other blog post sitting in my drafts, but it was mostly to do with seeing if I could do it (the camping) and being a little wild child (again). So thats what I did. I booked, I packed only one bag (very lightly) and we made the mission to the ‘best festival’.
The last music festival I went to ofcourse was V-festival in the UK. I went about 4 times, and (still very grateful for it) saw music heroes the Pixies… and also Snow Patrol, Foo Fighters, Keane, Stereophonics, Oasis, Pink, The Fray, Faithless, Kaiser Chiefs, Embrace, Athlete and even the lesser but still fun acts like KT Tunstall and Paulo Nutini (one hit wonder much?).
For full line-up jealousy, you can go here: V-festival
So, I did know I wasn’t going to be able to compare it. I knew it wasn’t going to be quite so big. But I didn’t realise it would be quite so small either. You don’t need a map to get from stage 1 to stage 2. And unlike at V, the performances are not at 3.45pm, but.. you know… ‘late afternoon’ rather… when one feels like getting off the river I suppose.
So big, mainstream and sponsored by the biggest V-giant in the world is what its not.
What it is – SO much fun! Colourful lilos, cold beers and sunscreen borrowed from someone you don’t know that is holding onto the lilo that your friend is holding onto of the lilo of the group you just met (creating, yes – like a giant raft of bright lilos). Before you know it you are sharing cigarettes with girls who work on a yacht in the Caribbean and sharing a disgusting concoction that is mostly vodka with a boy claiming to be an alchemist. And all this only within 2 hours of arriving at the river with a bottle of champagne. (not well planned Kim, not well planned).
The rest, is jumping around fun to bands you’ve never heard of but may potentially have heard a song one night really late when you were driving home and 5fm was being all local on you. The shortstraws perhaps? You tweet it, but it doesn’t go through because there’s no signal, and no-one there cares about twitter or hashtags anyway. By this point you’re one times Matthew Mole performance down (biggest fan in the crowd of sitters!!) and about 6 vodka redbulls under your belt and you’ll bounce to just about anything. Oh wait, maybe that was just me.
At one point I remember looking up at the stars and then down next to me at my friends and thinking this is the BEST NIGHT EVER (I also recall doing a similar thing at about 16 years old and at my first Synergy).
This “best night ever” feeling was, ofcourse, before I tried to fall asleep and hated my life for about 5 hours until I finally woke the bridesmaid up and told her we had to go home now. I am afterall twice 16 and seriously love my cotton sheets.
What I learnt:
Take beer, in cans and a floating cooler box. Champagne is reserved for occasions when you’re not dressed in a bikini and floating downstream attached to a thousand strangers. That goes for the wine glasses too.
Leave your phone – it doesn’t work anyway.
Trust me on the sunscreen – safely can confirm we came home unburnt only through serious forward planning and application of the sunscreen.
Don’t take food – the food there was great, and that’s not the drunk person talking. It was really good.
If you pay for the upgraded fixed tents – get ones FAR away from the music and closer to the bathrooms. The bathrooms make it worth it. The experience of being next to the mainstage all night doesn’t. The music does not stop.
Really nail your tent down. The wind in the Western Cape can blow your tent over. We found this out when it happened.