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The Ultimate Up The Creek Festival Survival Guide


by Melantha Robertson



Welcome to the ultimate Up The Creek Festival Survival Guide! If you’re planning on attending this incredible adventure-filled event, you’re in for a treat. Up The Creek Festival is renowned for its unique combination of music, nature, and good vibes, all set against the backdrop of stunning natural scenery.


In this guide, we’ll provide you with all the essential information and tips you need to make the most of your Up The Creek experience. Whether you’re a seasoned festival-goer or a first-timer, we’ve got you covered.


Now in its 13th year, Up The Creek Festival has become a favorite among adventure enthusiasts from all over the world. Nestled in a picturesque location along the banks of the Breede River in South Africa, this four-day festival offers an unforgettable mix of music from various genres, outdoor activities, and a vibrant community of like-minded individuals.


Before diving into the nitty-gritty details, it’s important to note that Up The Creek Festival embraces an eco-friendly and sustainable ethos. This means that as a participant, you are expected to respect and care for the environment throughout your stay. Leave no trace behind and minimize your impact on the surrounding nature.


So, whether you’re excited about catching your favorite bands, trying out thrilling water activities, or simply immersing yourself in the festival atmosphere, this survival guide will equip you with all the crucial knowledge you need to have an incredible time at Up The Creek Festival.


Planning Your Trip

Preparing for your Up The Creek adventure starts long before the festival begins. Here are some important steps to take when planning your trip:

  1. Choose the Right Dates: Check the festival’s official website for the dates of the upcoming event and mark your calendar. It’s best to book your tickets and accommodations well in advance to ensure availability.
  2. Transportation: Decide on how you will be getting to the festival. Whether you’re driving, taking a bus, or carpooling with friends, make sure to plan your transportation well ahead of time.
  3. Accommodations: Up The Creek offers a variety of camping options, including general camping and luxury glamping. Decide which option suits your preferences and budget, and book your spot early to secure the best location.
  4. Check the Weather: South Africa’s climate can be unpredictable, so be sure to check the weather forecast and pack accordingly. Remember to bring appropriate clothing for both hot and cold temperatures.
  5. Create a Budget: Plan your budget for the festival, including ticket costs, transportation, accommodations, food, and other expenses. It’s a good idea to bring some cash with you, as some vendors may not accept card payments.
  6. Research the Lineup: Take the time to familiarize yourself with the festival lineup. Identify the artists you’re most excited to see, and create a schedule to make the most of your musical experience.
  7. Plan Your Activities: Apart from music, Up The Creek offers a range of outdoor activities, such as river cruises and kayaking. Decide which activities interest you and make arrangements in advance to secure your spot.

By planning your trip in advance, you’ll have a smoother and more enjoyable experience at Up The Creek Festival. Remember to stay flexible and open to new experiences, as festivals are all about embracing the unexpected.


Essential Gear to Pack

To ensure your comfort and enjoyment at Up The Creek Festival, it’s important to pack the right gear. Here are some essential items to include in your festival packing list:

  1. Tent and Sleeping Gear: A reliable tent, sleeping bag, and camping mat are crucial for a good night’s sleep. Choose lightweight and waterproof options to withstand any weather conditions.
  2. Clothing: Pack clothes suitable for both hot and cold weather, as temperatures can fluctuate. Consider bringing a light jacket, raincoat, hat, sunglasses, and comfortable walking shoes. Don’t forget spare socks and underwear too!
  3. Toiletries: Include basic toiletries such as toothbrush, toothpaste, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and wet wipes. There are limited on-site shower facilities, so bring a towel and consider dry shampoo for quick refreshment.
  4. Sun Protection: Don’t forget to pack sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to shield yourself from the sun’s rays. It’s also a good idea to bring insect repellent, especially during the evening hours.
  5. Reusable Water Bottle: Staying hydrated is vital, so bring a refillable water bottle to reduce plastic waste and access the free water points throughout the festival grounds.
  6. Portable Charger: Keep your devices charged with a portable charger to capture memorable moments and stay connected with friends. However, it’s also good to disconnect and immerse yourself in the festival experience.
  7. First Aid Kit: Pack a small first aid kit with essentials like band-aids, pain relievers, antiseptic cream, and any necessary prescription medications. It’s always better to be prepared for minor injuries or illnesses.
  8. Camping Accessories: Include camping essentials like a headlamp or flashlight, camping chairs, a camping stove, cooking utensils, and a cooler for storing food and beverages.
  9. Reusable Plates and Cutlery: Reduce waste and bring your own reusable plates, cups, and cutlery. This not only helps the environment but also makes it easier to enjoy meals and snacks throughout the festival.
  10. Earplugs and Eye Mask: Festival camping can be noisy and bright, so earplugs and an eye mask can help you get a good night’s sleep and recharge for the next day’s adventures.

Remember, packing light and efficiently will make your journey to and from the festival grounds much easier. Make a checklist beforehand to ensure you don’t forget any important items. And most importantly, leave no trace behind by cleaning up and properly disposing of your waste during the festival.


Setting Up Camp

Once you arrive at Up The Creek Festival, it’s time to set up your campsite. Here are some tips to help you create a comfortable and functional camping space:

  1. Choose the Right Spot: Take a walk around the camping area and find a suitable spot for your tent. Look for a flat and level area away from low-lying areas that may flood in case of rain. Avoid camping beneath trees as branches can fall.
  2. Secure Your Tent: Use tent stakes or pegs to secure your tent to the ground. This will help prevent it from getting blown away by strong winds. Make sure to fully assemble your tent and double-check for any tears or damage.
  3. Create a Comfortable Sleeping Area: Lay down a camping mat, followed by your sleeping bag or air mattress, to ensure a comfortable sleep. Add extra blankets or sleeping pads if needed to provide insulation and cushioning.
  4. Organize Your Gear: Keep your camping gear organized and accessible. Use storage bins or bags to separate items like clothes, food, cooking utensils, and camping accessories. This will make it easier to find what you need.
  5. Set Up a Shade Structure: If you have a camping gazebo or shade canopy, set it up to provide some shade during the day. This will create a comfortable area to relax and escape the sun’s heat.
  6. Set Clear Boundaries: Use rope or flags to mark the boundaries of your campsite. This helps to create a sense of privacy and prevents others from encroaching on your space.
  7. Create a Gathering Area: Arrange camping chairs in a circle to create a central gathering area where you can socialize with friends and fellow festival-goers. This is a great space to hang out, share stories, and enjoy meals together.
  8. Illuminate Your Campsite: Hang solar-powered lights or bring battery-powered lanterns to illuminate your campsite at night. This will provide both practical lighting and a festive ambiance.
  9. Respect Quiet Times: Be mindful of noise levels during designated quiet times, typically during the early morning and late at night. Respect your fellow campers’ need for rest and relaxation.
  10. Stay Organized and Clean: Keep your campsite tidy by regularly picking up trash and disposing of it properly. Use designated bins for recycling and garbage, and be mindful of leaving any waste lying around.

Setting up camp is an opportunity to create your own little home-away-from-home at the festival. By following these tips, you’ll have a comfortable and inviting campsite that allows you to fully enjoy the Up The Creek experience.


Navigating the Festival Grounds

Exploring the festival grounds of Up The Creek can be an exciting adventure in itself. Here are some tips to help you navigate the festival and make the most of your experience:

  1. Familiarize Yourself with the Layout: Take some time to study the festival map and get acquainted with the different stages, activity areas, and amenities. This will help you navigate more efficiently and find your way around.
  2. Plan Your Schedule: Check the festival schedule and highlight the artists and activities you don’t want to miss. Create a rough plan to ensure you catch your favorite performances while leaving room for spontaneity.
  3. Explore the Various Stages: Up The Creek features multiple stages, each offering a unique musical experience. Take the time to explore each stage and discover new artists and genres. Don’t hesitate to step out of your comfort zone and try something different.
  4. Take Advantage of Workshops and Activities: Beyond the music, Up The Creek offers a variety of workshops, yoga sessions, and outdoor activities. Participate in these activities to enrich your festival experience and connect with the community.
  5. Stay Hydrated: South Africa’s sun can be intense, so remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Utilize the free water points available on the festival grounds to stay hydrated and replenish your energy.
  6. Try the Local Cuisine: Up The Creek boasts a diverse selection of food vendors, offering a range of local and international cuisine. Treat your taste buds to a culinary adventure and savor delicious meals and snacks throughout the festival.
  7. Embrace the Festival Spirit: Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Up The Creek. Engage with fellow festival-goers, dance like nobody’s watching, and embrace the joy and energy of the event. It’s an opportunity to create lifelong memories.
  8. Discover Hidden Gems: Explore the festival grounds beyond the main stages. You might stumble upon hidden art installations, pop-up performances, or peaceful spots along the riverbank. Let your curiosity guide you.
  9. Respect the Environment and Others: Up The Creek is committed to maintaining a sustainable and respectful festival environment. Dispose of your waste properly, adhere to noise regulations, and be considerate of your fellow festival-goers.
  10. Take Breaks and Rest: Festivals can be exhilarating, but it’s important to pace yourself. Take breaks to rest, recharge, and care for your well-being throughout the event.

By navigating the festival grounds with an open mind and adventurous spirit, you’ll have an unforgettable time at Up The Creek Festival. Embrace the unique experiences it offers and savor every moment.


Food and Water

When it comes to food and water at Up The Creek Festival, you’ll find a variety of options to satisfy your cravings and keep you hydrated throughout the event:

  1. Food Vendors: Up The Creek offers a diverse range of food vendors, catering to various dietary preferences and tastes. From delicious street food to hearty meals, you’ll find plenty of options to enjoy. Make sure to try some local South African delicacies as well.
  2. Bring Your Own Food: If you prefer to bring your own food, packing snacks and easy-to-make meals is a great option. Consider non-perishable items like granola bars, fruits, trail mix, and canned goods. Don’t forget to bring a cooler to keep perishable foods fresh.
  3. Water Points: Staying hydrated is crucial during the festival. Up The Creek provides free water points throughout the grounds, so bring a reusable water bottle and refill it regularly. It’s important to drink sufficient water, especially during hot weather or when engaging in physical activities.
  4. Alcohol and Beverages: Up The Creek has a fully stocked bar where you can find a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Remember to drink responsibly and be aware of your alcohol intake. Stay hydrated by alternating alcoholic drinks with water.
  5. Special Dietary Requirements: If you have specific dietary requirements or allergies, it’s a good idea to plan ahead. Contact the festival organizers in advance to inquire about options available to accommodate your needs. Additionally, some food vendors may offer vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free options.
  6. Festival Etiquette: Up The Creek encourages a sense of community, and respecting food vendors, fellow festival-goers, and the environment is essential. Dispose of your waste properly in designated bins, and be mindful of keeping the festival grounds clean and enjoyable for everyone.
  7. Explore Local Cuisine: If you have the chance, venture beyond the festival grounds and explore the local cuisine in nearby towns or villages. South Africa is known for its diverse culinary scene, so take the opportunity to indulge in regional dishes and traditional flavors.
  8. Budgeting for Food and Drinks: It’s wise to create a budget for food and drinks. Preparing some of your own meals can help save money, but don’t miss out on the chance to experience the delicious offerings from the food vendors. Having a general idea of how much you plan to spend will help you make informed choices.

Remember, staying nourished and hydrated is essential for a positive festival experience. Take care of your dietary needs, explore the local cuisine, and enjoy the variety of food and beverage choices available at Up The Creek Festival.


Staying Safe and Healthy

Your safety and well-being are of utmost importance when attending Up The Creek Festival. Here are some tips to help you stay safe and healthy throughout the event:

  1. Stay Hydrated: South Africa’s sun can be intense, so it’s crucial to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Carry a refillable water bottle and make use of the free water points available on the festival grounds.
  2. Protect Yourself from the Sun: Wear sunscreen with a high SPF, a hat, and sunglasses to protect your skin and eyes from harmful UV rays. Seek shade when needed, especially during the peak hours of sunlight.
  3. Bring necessary Medications: If you have any prescribed medications, ensure you have an ample supply for the duration of the festival. Carry them with you in a securely labeled container and keep a copy of your prescription handy.
  4. Practice Good Hygiene: Wash your hands frequently, especially before eating. Use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not readily available. Maintaining good hygiene helps prevent the spread of germs and keeps you healthy.
  5. Use Ear Protection: Loud music can potentially damage your hearing. Consider using earplugs or earmuffs to protect your ears during performances, particularly if you plan to be close to the stage.
  6. Stay Alert and Watch Your Belongings: While Up The Creek Festival is generally safe, it’s important to stay vigilant. Keep an eye on your belongings at all times and don’t leave valuables unattended in your tent or campsite.
  7. Emergency Contacts: Save important contact numbers in your phone, including festival security, medical services, and the emergency hotline. Familiarize yourself with the location of the medical facilities on-site.
  8. Know Your Limits: Pace yourself and be mindful of your alcohol intake. Know your limits and ensure you’re physically and mentally able to participate in activities safely. If you need a break or feel unwell, take the necessary time to rest and recharge.
  9. Stay Connected: Keep your phone charged and have a designated meeting point in case you get separated from your friends. Set a specific plan for communication in case of emergencies or unexpected situations.
  10. Be Respectful: Respect your fellow festival-goers, staff, and artists. Follow the festival’s rules and guidelines, and be aware of noise regulations, especially during designated quiet times.

Remember, your health and well-being should always be a top priority. By taking simple precautions and being mindful of your surroundings, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience at Up The Creek Festival.


Managing Your Energy and Sleep

With so much excitement happening at Up The Creek Festival, it’s important to manage your energy levels and prioritize sleep to fully enjoy the experience. Here are some tips to help you stay energized and get the rest you need:

  1. Rest and Pace Yourself: Festivals can be physically and mentally demanding. Take breaks throughout the day to rest, recharge, and conserve your energy. Don’t feel pressured to attend every single performance or activity.
  2. Create a Sleep-Friendly Environment: Make your tent a cozy and comfortable space for sleeping. Use an eye mask, earplugs, and a sleeping mask to block out noise and light. Consider using a camping mat or air mattress for added comfort.
  3. Mind Your Sleeping Schedule: Try to maintain a consistent sleeping schedule during the festival. While late nights are common at festivals, aim for a few consecutive hours of quality sleep to rejuvenate your body and mind.
  4. Use Power Naps: Short power naps during the day can provide a quick energy boost. Find a quiet and shaded spot, set an alarm for 20-30 minutes, and indulge in a refreshing nap to keep you going.
  5. Avoid Excessive Alcohol and Caffeine: While it’s tempting to indulge in drinks and caffeinated beverages, excessive consumption can disrupt your sleep patterns and leave you feeling drained. Moderation is key.
  6. Stay Active: Engage in light physical activities like stretching, yoga, or taking a leisurely walk around the festival grounds. This helps invigorate your body and prevent excessive fatigue.
  7. Stay Hydrated: Dehydration can lead to feelings of fatigue. Keep sipping water throughout the day to stay hydrated and maintain your energy levels.
  8. Find Quiet Spaces: Seek out peaceful areas away from the main stage where you can relax and unwind. Take a moment to enjoy nature, reflect, or meditate to recharge your energy.
  9. Practice Self-Care: Give yourself some TLC during the festival. Take a shower or freshen up using wet wipes, practice deep breathing exercises, or indulge in activities that bring you happiness and relaxation.
  10. Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to your body’s signals and honor its needs. If you’re feeling exhausted or unwell, take the time to rest and prioritize self-care. Pushing yourself too hard can dampen your festival experience.

Remember, striking a balance between enjoying every moment and taking care of your well-being is key in managing your energy and sleep at Up The Creek Festival. By incorporating these tips into your routine, you’ll have the stamina to fully embrace the festival’s adventures.


Enjoying the Music and Entertainment

Up The Creek Festival is renowned for its diverse music lineup and captivating entertainment. To make the most of your experience, here are some tips on how to fully enjoy the music and entertainment at the festival:

  1. Plan Your Schedule: Take a look at the festival lineup in advance and identify the artists you’re most excited to see. Create a loose schedule to ensure you don’t miss your favorite performances, but also leave room for discovering new artists.
  2. Arrive Early: If there’s an artist you don’t want to miss, plan to arrive at the stage early to secure a good spot. This will give you a closer view and enhance your overall experience.
  3. Immerse Yourself in Different Stages: Up The Creek features multiple stages, each offering a unique musical experience. Explore all the stages to discover new sounds and genres, and be open to experiencing something different.
  4. Engage with the Artists: Many artists love connecting with their fans. Attend meet and greet sessions, artist signings, or participate in interactive workshops where you can engage with the performers and gain insights into their music.
  5. Dance Like No One’s Watching: Let loose and dance to the rhythm of the music. Don’t be afraid to move, groove, and express yourself. The energy of the crowd and the music will create an electric atmosphere that you don’t want to miss out on.
  6. Discover New Talent: While it’s exciting to see your favorite headliners, also take the opportunity to explore lesser-known artists. You might discover hidden gems and fall in love with new sounds that you would have otherwise missed.
  7. Embrace the Festival Atmosphere: Up The Creek is more than just the music. Immerse yourself in the festival’s vibrant atmosphere, where you can connect with like-minded music lovers, participate in engaging workshops, and enjoy a range of entertainment options available.
  8. Capture Memories: Use your camera or smartphone to capture special moments and memories. However, don’t forget to balance documenting with being present in the moment. Sometimes, the best memories are those experienced with your own eyes rather than through a screen.
  9. Participate in Interactive Activities: Up The Creek offers various interactive activities beyond music. Engage in yoga sessions, art installations, games, or water activities to enhance your festival experience and create unforgettable memories.
  10. Connect with Fellow Festival-Goers: Strike up conversations with other attendees, make new friends, and share your love for music. Festivals like Up The Creek bring together people from all walks of life, and you never know the connections you’ll form.

Remember, Up The Creek Festival is an opportunity to immerse yourself in a world of music and entertainment. By following these tips, you’ll have an incredible time enjoying the performances, discovering new talent, and embracing the festival spirit.


Making New Friends and Connecting with Others

Attending Up The Creek Festival provides a wonderful opportunity to meet new people who share your love for music and adventure. Here are some tips to help you make new friends and connect with others at the festival:

  1. Be Open and Approachable: Smile, be friendly, and open to meeting new people. Festivals like Up The Creek are all about connecting with others, so embrace the opportunity to make new friends.
  2. Join Group Activities: Participate in group activities, workshops, or games. These provide a great platform to interact with fellow festival-goers who share similar interests.
  3. Start Conversations: Strike up conversations with those around you. Ask about their favorite artists, their festival experience so far, or their favorite memories from previous festivals. Festivals create an instant bond, and conversations flow easily.
  4. Share Food and Drinks: Food and drinks have a way of bringing people together. Offer to share snacks or drinks with your neighbors at the campsite or during a performance. It’s a great way to break the ice and make connections.
  5. Attend Meetups and Gatherings: Check if there are any meetups or gatherings planned for festival attendees. These provide designated spaces to connect with others who share similar interests, whether it’s music, art, or other hobbies.
  6. Use Social Media: Connect with others attending the festival through social media platforms. Join Up The Creek Festival’s official group or use hashtags to find like-minded individuals. It’s a great way to arrange meetups and stay connected even after the festival.
  7. Offer a Helping Hand: Extend a helping hand to those around you. Help someone set up their tent, share directions, or lend a phone charger. Acts of kindness create lasting connections.
  8. Embrace Solo Adventures: Don’t be afraid to explore the festival on your own. Solo adventures can lead to unexpected interactions and opportunities to connect with others. Embrace the freedom and enjoy the experience.
  9. Respect Boundaries: While it’s important to be friendly and sociable, always respect personal boundaries. Understand that everyone has different comfort levels when it comes to socializing, and it’s important to respect their space and privacy.
  10. Stay Safe: Prioritize your safety when meeting new people. Be cautious with sharing personal information and trust your instincts. If something feels off or uncomfortable, remove yourself from the situation and seek help if needed.

Up The Creek Festival fosters a sense of community and camaraderie, where connections are formed and memories are made. By embracing the social aspect of the festival and following these tips, you’ll have the opportunity to make lifelong friends and create meaningful connections with fellow music lovers.


Leaving No Trace and Cleaning Up

As an eco-conscious festival, Up The Creek emphasizes the importance of leaving no trace and minimizing our impact on the environment. Here are some guidelines to help you clean up and ensure the festival grounds stay pristine:

  1. Pack Out What You Bring In: Make a commitment to bring back everything you bring to the festival. This includes your camping gear, food containers, and any other waste you generate. Leave the camping area exactly as you found it.
  2. Separate Your Waste: Make use of the designated recycling and garbage bins provided throughout the festival grounds. Separate your waste into recyclables and general waste to promote proper waste disposal.
  3. Dispose of Cigarette Butts Properly: If you smoke, use designated ashtrays to dispose of your cigarette butts. Do not throw them on the ground or in the river, as they are not only unsightly but can also harm the environment.
  4. Participate in Clean-Up Efforts: Up The Creek often organizes clean-up initiatives, where you can join other festival-goers in tidying up the grounds after the event is over. Keep an eye out for these opportunities and actively participate in keeping the festival grounds clean.
  5. Reduce Single-Use Items: Minimize your use of single-use items like plastic water bottles, straws, and cutlery. Bring reusable alternatives and opt for eco-friendly options whenever possible.
  6. Dispose of Graywater Properly: If you use biodegradable soaps or shampoos for showers, make sure to dispose of the graywater responsibly. Pour it into designated drains or areas designated for graywater disposal, following the festival’s guidelines.
  7. Respect Nature and Wildlife: Up The Creek takes place in a natural setting, so respect the flora, fauna, and wildlife that call it home. Do not disturb plants or animals, and do not feed or harass any wildlife you encounter.
  8. Spread Awareness: Encourage others to follow sustainable practices and respect the environment. Spread the message of leaving no trace and the importance of conservation to ensure future generations can continue to enjoy festivals like Up The Creek.
  9. Lead by Example: Be a role model for others by adhering to environmentally friendly practices. Pick up any litter you come across, properly dispose of your waste, and educate others on the importance of keeping the festival grounds clean.

By collectively committing to leaving no trace, we can preserve the beauty of the festival grounds and minimize our impact on the environment. Let’s work together to create a sustainable and enjoyable experience for everyone at Up The Creek Festival.



Congratulations! You are now equipped with the ultimate Up The Creek Festival Survival Guide. With careful planning, an open mindset, and a commitment to sustainability, your experience at this adventurous festival will be one for the books.


From planning your trip and packing essential gear to setting up camp, navigating the festival grounds, and enjoying the music and entertainment, you now have the knowledge to make the most of your time at Up The Creek. By prioritizing your safety and well-being, managing your energy and sleep, and connecting with others, you’ll create lasting memories and form bonds with fellow festival-goers.


Remember, Up The Creek Festival is more than just a music event. It’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in nature, discover new artists, and connect with a vibrant community. Maintain respect for the environment, practice good hygiene and responsible waste management, and leave no trace behind. By doing so, you’ll help preserve the beauty of the festival grounds and ensure its sustainability for years to come.


So get ready to dance to incredible music, bask in the stunning natural surroundings, and forge unforgettable connections. Embrace the adventure, embrace the music, and make the most of your experience at Up The Creek Festival.