Surviving Strange Creek
Welcome to StrangeCreek Campout thrown by the wonderful Worms of Wormtown Trading Company! The Creek features over 50 bands playing everything and anything from reggae to rock, electronic, funk, jam and much more. Music and family are the pride of this festival so come with a big smile and your boogie shoes. It’s always good to know the scoop on a fest before you get there so here are a few things to know about gettin’ strange at the Creek.
When you get into the town of Greenfield stop at one of the local stores and grab some ice, beer and whatever else you may need (the Stop & Shop does NOT sell beer). There are no beer vendors at the Creek so make sure you stock up with lots of canned beer before you get inside. Cops will be present around town so go the speed limit! The festival is held at a kids camp so look for the Camp Kee-wanee sign and turn there to get to the gate.
Getting through the gate usually only takes a few minutes, the staff doesn’t really check your stuff. Just follow the few rules they have (no dogs, glass, or tanks) and you’ll be all set. Once you get parked you’ll want to hit the woodsand find a heady camping spot for you and your crew. That’s right, no car camping baby, you’re Oregon Trail-ing all your stuff into the woods. If you have never been to the Creek before and don’t have a general location in mind do yourself a favor and go on a recon mission to find a spot without loading yourself down with heavy gear. I can’t tell you how many frustrated festy faces I’ve seen lugging around their stuff looking for a spot.
Being in the woods gives you endless opportunities to hang just about anything at your site. Having a hammock is a major bonus here because of the uneven ground and the many places to hang them. I wouldn’t bother lugging a heavy E-Z UP in, the tree canopy is heavenly and blocks sun and light rain, thanks Mother N! We typically tie up a tarp over our hangout spot and use a small fallen tree to prop up the center. Get creative! Bring lots of rope, bungees, tarps, tapestries, decorations and have fun with it. A couple tools that might help you get to your spot and make it more comfortable is a wagon and a rake. Both will score you lots of friends who will probably offer up some goodies to use them. Oh, and don’t bother setting your camp up on the beach at the creek, they’ll make you take it down so save yourself the heartache.
Music Festival Packing List
Make sure you bring a variety of clothes and lots of layers, it can be super hot out in the sun during the day and then drop down to the 40’s at night. I like to bring comfy boots that are waterproof and good for walking, rain gear and winter gear like a hat, mittens and scarves. Bring more than you need and leave it in your car instead of lugging it to your site. If it looks like it’sgonna rain or if it’s a chilly night just go grab it, nothing is more than a 15 minute walk. Oh and don’t forget a bathing suit, towel and biodegradable soap so you can lounge around on the nice sandy beach and clean the wook off ya in the creek while you’re at it. Yeah the water is freezing, but you’ll get used to it, how often do you get clean running water to splash around in at a festival?
Speaking of staying warm, there are no campfires allowed in the woods for safety’s sake but there is an amazing communal bonfire down in the late night cabin area for everyone to get warm and fuzzy, bang on some drums and watch incredible fire dancing. The late night cabins fill up fast and because they are pretty small you are going to be HOT, but you are also going to have an amazing intimate experience with some of your favorite performers. Make sure you save up your energy for the late night here at StrangeCreek, it’s legendary. I like to lounge around in the shade as much as possible during the day, hitting up Vernville and Riverworm Cafe stages out in the woods and the Main stage once it gets a little cooler. Drink lots of water, there are a couple clean drinking water faucets by the main stage area that you can fill your bottles up with. And don’t worry about anyone making you dump them out later because there are no gates inside, no one checking bags and no one making you dump out your beer. Cheers to the Worms for that!
Make sure you take a break from the late night cabin and fire area and go for a womp or two out in the woods. There are always surprises and fun things going on at this festival. Some places to definitely check out are Vernville for the late night acoustic sets and the blacklight glow paint tent, the creek for candlelights and random jams, DJ’s out in the woods playing electronic and dubstep, artists popping up in unexpected places around property playing surprise shows and much much more. Just walking around in the pitch black out in the woods seeing all the campsites decorated in hundreds of glowsticks, meeting awesome people and having incredible adventures is part of the magic of this festival. This last StrangeCreek the Worms surprised us with Zach Deputy on the main stage and in the cabins, Jeff Bujak Silent Disco at Vernville and an acoustic Ryan Montbleau set that I’m very sad to say I somehow missed. So much going on at this little fest, it never ceases to amaze me!
A couple more little tidbits, check out the Worm’s staff pavilion if you loose anything, need an ATM, or a plug to charge a phone. Consider upping your karma levels by bringing in dried and canned goods to the Strangers HelpingStrangers tent. Bring lots of lights with you whenever you leave camp near dark, it is pitch black in those woods and stubbing your toe on a root is only fun the first time around. This festival is awesome for kids of all ages, there is a wonderful family camping area with tons of activities throughout the weekend and even a kid’s set on the main stage. That means it is even more important to be careful with glass. The Worms ask that you don’t bring glass in but if you do, just make sure you keep it at your campsite and not carry it around with you. Oh and there have been sighting of ticks and poison ivy so be prepared for those little bummers too.
So that’s it my funky party people, a lowdown on one of the best kept secrets in the festy world, Strange Creek Campout. This place is truly home to me, and the family vibe here is so powerful I bet you’ll feel the same after you go.
Thanks for reading and please post your suggestions and more in the comment section below!