OMD, KOOL & THE GANG, KIM WILDE, JASON DONOVAN, JIMMY SOMERVILLE, SHALAMAR and many more stars performed
Twenty thousand people turned up each day of Rewind Festival‘s sold-out 10th birthday celebrations (17 – 19 August) at Temple Island Meadows in Henley-on-Thames, making this the biggest Rewind South yet. Colourful and costumed festival-goers arrived by the boatful to watch music icons like OMD, Kool & The Gang, Kim Wilde, Jason Donovan, Jimmy Somerville play back-to-back hits on the main stage.
Henley-on-Thames is the birthplace of Rewind. Many of the stars who performed at the very first Rewind returned to the stage this weekend including Midge Ure, Howard Jones, Nik Kershaw, Billy Ocean, Heaven 17, T’Pau, China Crisis, Doctor & The Medics and Toyah Willcox. Since its inception in 2009, the hugely popular 80s music festival has seen over 140 acts perform and grew to include Rewind Scotland in 2011 and Rewind North in 2014.
Funk and soul legends Kool & The Gang headlined Saturday night at Rewind South, getting people of all generations on their feet and dancing to their classics ‘Celebration’, ‘Get Down On It’, ‘Ladies Night’ and ‘Cherish’. Billy Ocean took a moment from his set to pay tribute to the late Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin with a rendition of ‘I Say A Little Prayer For You’. Screams reached fever pitch when 80s heartthrob Jason Donovan hit the stage to perform his pop hits ‘Too Many Broken Hearts’ and ‘Especially For You’. Nik Kershaw is testament that great songs live forever, with ‘The Riddle’ and ‘Wouldn’t It Be Good’ sounding just as good today as they did the first time we heard it. Nik brought out Chesney Hawkes to duet on ‘Wouldn’t It Be Good’ before Chesney led the crowd on a lung-busting sing-along to his signature tune ‘The One and Only’.
Midge Ure thrilled with killer performances of ‘Vienna’, ‘Fade to Grey’ and ‘Dancing With Tears In My Eyes’ while Marc Almond took us back with ‘Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go’ and ‘Say Hello, Wave Goodbye’. Shalamar brought a burst of R&B and disco into the mix with ‘A Night to Remember’ and ‘I Can Make You Feel Good’, and Howard Jones served up great portions of synth-pop including ‘What Is Love?’ and ‘Like To Get To Know You Well’. Earlier in the day, From The Jam opened the main stage with an electrifying set, quickly followed by The Orchestra (former members of ELO) who got the crowd warmed up with classics like ‘Evil Woman’ and ‘Xanadu’.
On Sunday, Rewind South closed its 10th birthday celebration with a bang. Crowd favourites OMD blazed through a breathless hour-long set of all their best-loved records like ‘Enola Gay’, ‘Tesla Girls’, ‘Joan of Arc’ and many more. It was high spirits and even higher notes with Jimmy Somerville and the Rewind Big Band getting the crowd dancing to ‘Smalltown Boy’ and disco classics ‘Never Can Say Goodbye’ and ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’, which he performed with Sarah Jane Morris of The Communards. Pop-rock queen Kim Wilde was a force of nature, strutting across the main stage with ‘Kids in America’, ‘You Keep Me Hanging On’ and ‘Pop Don’t Stop’ from her new album “Here Come The Aliens”. Roachford, China Crisis and Paul Carrack provided the perfect soundtrack to a summery Sunday afternoon. Carrack performed classics from his illustrious career including ‘Over My Should’ (Mike + The Mechanics) and ‘Tempted’ (Squeeze). Elsewhere Heaven 17, Roland Gift, T’Pau, Tom Bailey of Thompson Twins, Doctor & The Medics kept the hit machine going.
Ten thousand campers turned up to Temple Island Meadows for Rewind’s three-day celebration. The Riverside Stage was a popular hot spot with Neville Staple performing on Friday night, and The Best of Wham! and the Rock Choir on Saturday and Sunday. The Forever Stage hosted comedy by Milton Jones, Vikki Stone and David Morgan, as well as Rhythm of the 90s and a DJ set by Martin Kemp on Sunday night. Inside the Disco Den, the Ultimate Silent Disco, Bang Bang’s Big Breakfast, Musical Bingo, John Leather’s 80s Movie Disco and Guilty Pleasures Presents! were also big hits.
The blissful weekend was compered by Toyah Willcox and The Doctor of Doctor & The Medics with DJ Massaoke keeping the tunes and sing-alongs going strong between the main stage performances, getting everyone hyped with some of the biggest 80s hits. Festival-goers also enjoyed a selection of local craft beers from the Ale Collective stand, merry tunes in the Cocktails & Keys piano bar, and yoga sessions in the relaxing Unwind zone.
Rewind Festival returns in 2019 at the following dates: Rewind Scotland (Scone Palace, Perth) 19 – 21 July, Rewind North (Capesthorne Hall, Cheshire) 2 – 4 August, and Rewind South (Temple Island Meadows, Henley-on-Thames) 16 – 18 August.
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