Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Rewind is sold in £30m deal

THE Rewind Festival, which started in Henley eight years ago, has been sold as part of a £30 million deal.

Impresario, whose chief executive David Heartfield lives in Rotherfield Greys, has sold a number of its festivals to radio group Global.

These include the two-day Eighties pop extravaganza held at Temple Island Meadows in Remenham every August and attended by 20,000 people each day.

The other festivals include Rewind’s sister shows in Scotland and in Cheshire, two in London and a surf and music festival held in Newquay, Cornwall.

Global, which was formed in 2007, owns a number of UK radio stations, including Heart, Capital, Classic FM, Smooth and LBC.

Mr Heartfield, an experienced music industry executive, said: “Global made a very significant financial offer for our portfolio of festivals and the time was right on a personal level as well.”

He will still be involved for at least two years as he hands over responsibility to new Rewind general manager Paul Carey, who lives in Reading Road, Henley, and runs The Music Management.

Mr Heartfield said: “Like all of these things, it takes a significant time to train up new people.

“Paul is based in Henley and has come in to work on Rewind and we’ll work with him for a couple of years until I disappear and leave it in his capable hands.

“I’m sure the public will still enjoy going in a couple of years’ time as they do now. Nothing will change — we will continue to put the best line-ups together.

“I’m contracted to stay around for a couple of years and, on a personal level, I’d like to stay around to see its 10th anniversary.

“Rewind was a catalyst for an awful lot of festivals that came along over the following eight years. It’s the creative process which is the fun part of it so you always feel a sense of warmth for the event, as I still do.”

Mr Carey, who was formerly a PR for pop stars including David Bowie and Elton John, has already met John Halsall, chairman of Remenham Parish Council and a Wokingham borough councillor, to discuss issues related to Rewind, especially traffic but also noise and litter.

Councillor Halsall said: “He listened and said he would work with us to find the best solution possible, which is the best we can expect.”

Mr Heartfield’s career in the music sector started in 1988, when he was part of the Destination Docklands concert in London featuring Jean Michel-Jarre.

He then helped organise the celebrations for the centenary of the Forth Bridge for a crowd of 100,000 and the Prince of Wales’s Symphony for the Spire.

From 1992 to 1999 he worked for IMG before leaving to set up CSS Stellar and heading the entertainment division.

In 2001 CSS Stellar went public and two years later Mr Heartfield bought out the entertainment division, rebranding it the Rival Organisation.

He launched the Rewind Festival in 2009 following a number of sell-out multi-artist Eighties concerts. Since then it has expanded nationally and internationally.

Artists who have appeared include Tony Hadley, Adam Ant, Rick Astley, Billy Ocean, the Human League, UB40, Erasure’s Andy Bell, Belinda Carlisle, Kim Wilde and T’Pau vocalist Carol Decker, who lives in Henley,

In 2014 Bob Geldof, lead singer of the Boomtown Rats, was cheered by the crowd when he used expletives during the band’s set.

He shouted, “shut the f*** up, Henley” and accused the town of being too rich and too polite.

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