THE organiser of this year’s Rewind Festival in Henley has hailed it a success.
A total of 40,000 people attended the two-day Eighties pop festival at Temple Island Meadows over the weekend.
Stars who performed included Bonnie Tyler, Jason Donovan, Holly Johnson, UB40 and Sister Sledge.
Bob Geldof, lead singer of the Boomtown Rats, was cheered by the crowd when he used expletives during the band’s set on Sunday.
The Live Aid organiser and activist shouted “shut the f*** up, Henley” and accused the town of being too rich and too polite.
Rewind promoter David Heartfield, from Rotherfield Greys, said Geldof’s antics were “just part of his show”.
“Bob is an icon and unfortunately that’s the language he uses,” he said. “It’s part of the ‘let’s offend everybody’ game.
“It’s Bob Geldof swearing — we’ve all got rather used to it over the years.”
Mr Heartfield said the sixth annual festival had been “another great weekend”.
“I think it was probably one of the best line-ups we’ve had, ranging from pop to reggae to punk rock almost,” he said. “As always, the audience are the stars of the show. They come dressed up and certainly get into the spirit of the thing.”
The only problem for the fans was the traffic congestion as they tried to leave on Sunday evening. Gloria Keen, 52, from Finchampstead, said she and her partner Gareth Rees were stuck for about three hours.
The couple left at about 9pm — before headline act Tom Bailey — in an attempt to avoid the jam but found themselves stuck in it.
Ms Keen said: “There was a lot of traffic coming out of the campsite and not much coming out of the main car park so none of the cars could join the mainstream of traffic.
“It looked like there were several streams of traffic trying to get to the gate. You would expect the marshals at the gate to direct each stream in turn but that didn’t seem to be the case.
“We couldn’t go forward and we couldn’t go back, so we were sat in the car park for three hours.
“There were plenty of other people that were in the same situation and it started getting quite heated at one point. It was almost exactly midnight when we actually left the site.
“By then we were very frustrated and tired. Obviously it’s a long day and you’re eager to get home. Being stuck for three hours doesn’t help.
“You expect a certain amount of delay with that amount of people there but I think three hours was excessive.
“If that situation can’t be guaranteed not to happen again then I very reluctantly have to say I’ll not go again.”
Mr Heartfield said the traffic had been moving all the time and the site was clear two hours after the end of the show.
He added: “People have to expect that it takes time to clear an audience of 20,000 people.”
• An acoustic guitar signed by 16 acts at last year’s Rewind raised ú400 for charity. The Helen and Douglas House shop in Duke Street, Henley, auctioned the instrument and the winning bid came from Richard Sargent, from Witney. Shop manager Jean Hugill said: “Richard was determined to have the guitar. He told us to call him if any of his bids were bettered and he would submit a new one.” Mr Sargent, who attended last year’s festival, said: “The guitar will take pride of place in my house. I’ve asked a carpenter friend of mine to make me a wooden case for it.”