Rewind Festival have just announced their 80s filled line-ups, and in the south for the 2017 festival it includes The Sugarhill Gang, Status Quo, Gloria Gaynor, Level 42, Village People, and Kim Wilde.
It’s a place where the masses flock to get boozy to some bangers all weekend and gloriously celebrate nostalgia. The line-up always has some good artists, and you are bound to know some of the songs, and what makes it even better is that the artists are on one stage so if you want to stick around you can get comfy on chairs or blankets (further back though, be reasonable people). If you aren’t fussed about the acts it’s still a really fun festival. Rewind have a great silent disco with two DJ’s playing all of the classics and everyone really gets involved, it’s also free. There’s loads of 80s related memorabilia, an inflatable church, plenty of rides, and an amazing food selection.
The atmosphere at Rewind Festival is one that I have never really experienced elsewhere, it feels like your parents and everyone else who is there (most people are over 30) have gone away for a big sesh, but everyone reverts back to their younger selves. It’s so nice to be at a festival where everyone is letting loose and just enjoying themselves, no one is there just to take photos and show how much of a “great” time they are having; the crowd are there because they love the event and everything about it. People get up and sing for karaoke with a live band at the Riverside Stage, some in full costume – I once saw a guy dressed as Freddie Mercury who did a great impression of the singer and really got the crowd going, this is a rare achievement in the world of British karaoke. As well as karaoke, this smaller stage features special guests on a Friday who are always fun and cover numerous 80s tracks (previous acts include The Wurzels and The Mariachi’s from the Doritos adverts). There’s also music and bands on at the Riverside Stage during the day for anyone who doesn’t want to see some of the line-up. The Big Top Bar is another bar that has some really good DJs and bands on (there’s always a big and fun crowd at this one).
The festival's campsites are some of the cleanest ones I’ve ever seen at a festival (apart from on the Monday), and the toilets are pretty decent, they are never going to be nice but these ones are great in comparison to Reading or Bestival; if you’re a wimp then you can normally buy passes for posh, clean toilets. They also have lots of phone charging points and usually good facilities (although there were a lot less water taps in 2016). The layout of the site is fairly simple, so navigating your way is easy and doesn’t take very long as it’s a smaller festival; the setting of Henley-on-Thames for the south festival is also beautiful if the weather’s good. I love Rewind Festival, I’ve been for the last four years and it’s been so much fun every time, there’s fancy dress everywhere, people are hilariously bollocksed, the music is brilliant, and it’s a pretty reasonable price for a weekend camping ticket (£125 is not bad at all, plus the compulsory booking fee of course). I highly recommend it, even for the virgin festival goers it would be a great place to start, and I cannot make the dates this year so someone please go in my place and get silly to all of those glorious old school bangers. Rewind Festival is a wonderfully nostalgic weekend, with a line-up that's full of classic 80s artists, there’s so much fun to be had across the site that you would be silly to miss out.
(2016) Interviewed Leo Sayer last year, with Jack Suddaby of BBC Radio Oxford