Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Video: Five years of fun festival

POP stars from the Eighties rolled back the years as they performed at the fifth Rewind Festival at the weekend.

POP stars from the Eighties rolled back the years as they performed at the fifth Rewind Festival at the weekend.

Click here to watch our video from behind the scenes at Rewind.

About 40,000 music fans descended on Temple Island Meadows for the sold-out event with American headline acts the B-52s and the Pointer Sisters.

Other artists who performed included Belinda Carlisle, Billy Ocean, ABC, Kim Wilde, Nik Kershaw, Go West, Chesney Hawkes, Heaven 17, Sonia, Steve Harley, Aswad and Imagination featuring Leee John.

Many festival-goers wore colourful outfits inspired by the decade, including some who dressed as Eighties icons such as Freddie Mercury, the Flintstones and the Smurfs.

The persistent drizzle on Saturday did little to spoil the mood as revellers donned wellies and ponchos.

Hip-hop artists Sugarhill Gang were the first musicians to take the stage on Saturday afternoon. They closed their set with Rapper’s Delight, a hit in 1979.

It was the first time the group had performed at the festival and frontman Grandmaster Melle Mel said it was “one of the high points of our summer”.

Chesney Hawkes, who also performed two years ago, was joined by Nik Kershaw as he closed his set with his anthem The One And Only.

“It’s such a fun festival to do,” he said. “People enjoy it for the nostalgia — they’re recapturing their youth, reliving years gone by and just letting their hair down and having a good time.”

Heaven 17 had the crowd singing along to hits such as Temptation and Let Me Go. Lead singer Martyn Ware said: “You were competing with the other artists back in the Eighties but if anyone from our period is successful now, we’re happy for them because it means the whole scene is growing.”

Kim Wilde wore the black jacket which featured in the video for her 1988 song You Came during her set.

She was joined on stage by her niece Scarlett on vocals and brother Ricky on guitar for a rendition of Wonderful Life by Black.

She was followed by the B-52s who wowed the crowds with their wacky outfits and stand-out tracks Love Shack and Rock Lobster.

Sunday’s line-up included a debut appearance by Sonia, who brought along her three-year-old daughter, Gracie.

She said the festival was “one big party”, adding: “The crowd are so excitable and 100 per cent up for it.”

Sonia said she enjoyed meeting up with her fellow Eighties stars.

“We do see each other a lot across the year but it is always lovely to catch up with people,” she said. “We’ve all got our kids with us so it is like one big family.”

Leee John flew from Marseille to perform in a tailor-made silk shirt. “I thoroughly enjoyed it,” he said. “The Eighties has such a special feel because there are so many different performers and styles.”

Many acts performed covers of songs by their fellow artists while others chose more contemporary numbers such as Kings of Leon’s Sex On Fire, which was performed by Go West.

The Pointer Sisters admitted they were feeling nervous ahead of closing the festival on Sunday night.

Speaking backstage before the trio’s performance, Ruth Pointer said: “It is really exciting but there are so many people out there that it is almost scary.When there’s a crowd like this we feel like we have just got to bring it.”

The sisters had performed in Stockholm the previous night before flying to Heathrow and being rushed to Henley.Their set included hits such as I’m So Excited and Jump (For My Love).

Elsewhere, more than 30 couples were “married” in an inflatable church, a new addition to this year’s festival. “Rev” Adam Redmore conducted the services, which were followed by a DJ set.

Other new attractions included a bandstand showcasing local performers.

These included Gillotts School pupils Jade Allum and Bella Bull, who came top in the school’s Superstar talent contest in March, and 2D Glasses, who won the battle of the bands competition at the inaugural Music in the Meadows festival in Henley.

Rewind also featured a large funfair, children’s area and themed bars and each evening ended with a fireworks display.

Many of the festival-goers had attended Rewind before. Paul Francis, of Greys Road, Henley, has been to all five festivals and this year was joined by his wife Louise and their three-year-old twins, Emilia and Ava. He said: “I grew up in the Eighties and it is nice to have the opportunity to see acts like this without having to leave your home town.”

Isobel Rothwell, of Station Road, Henley, attended the festival for the second year running. She said: “It is a great excuse to get together with friends.”

Promoter David Heartfield, from Rotherfield Greys, said: “It all went well and we were relatively lucky with the weather. The artists really love it because it’s a big show for them and it’s televised. It’s also a chance to mix backstage with other artists from their era. Everybody seemed to be going for it and they really got into the festival mood.”

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