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Rewind South Festival - Temple Island Meadows, Henley-on-Thames, 19th...21st August

  by Nick Dent-Robinson

published: 5 / 10 / 2022

Rewind South Festival - Temple Island Meadows, Henley-on-Thames, 19th...21st August

The Eighties Rewind South festival returned to Temple Island Meadows by the river at Henley-on-Thames from Friday 19 - Sunday 21 August after a two year absence, due to the pandemic. Around 20,000 people attended each day, some visitors arriving by river taxi and others camping at the picturesque site throughout the whole weekend. The crowds included many families and music lovers of all generations with a significant number who were teenagers back in the 1980s and who had come to relive their youth by enjoying performances from idols of that era. Many wore neon colours and rainbow wigs or were dressed as unicorns, aircrew, superheroes or characters from films like ‘Ghostbusters’, ‘Star Wars’ or ‘Scooby Doo”’ There was dancing on tables - hands in the air, singing, beach balls being tossed around and at night there were glow sticks and people in lit-up shoes everywhere. And at one point a couple of Spitfire planes flew low across the festival site making the crowd cheer even louder. Performers this year included Frankie Goes To Hollywood's Holly Johnson with a storming performance of ‘Relax’, The Human League who received a rapturous reception with their set of wall-to-wall hits culminating in ‘Don't You Want Me’plus Midge Ure, The Thompson Twins, Kim Wilde (whose zest for performance roused the whole crowd to its feet.....her ‘Kids In America’ was a festival highlight), Martin Kemp, Level 42, Odyssey, Belinda Carlisle, The Real Thing, Bjorn Again, Scritti Politti, Blancmange, Slim Jim Phanton, Mica Paris, Hothouse Flowers, The Selecter and Henley's own Carol Decker of T'Pau. There were also some early 1990s stars performing - like Heather Small of M People and Tunde of The Lighthouse Family. Rewind South at Henley is a popular festival with performers. Kim Wilde told me, "I so enjoy being here. I was last performing at Rewind South Henley in 2018 and returning here is always like coming home for me. The mix of performers, the beautiful and unique site plus, most of all, the wonderful involvement of the crowd - those are the things that make this Henley event truly special. I can't wait to come back next time" Odyssey lead singer Steven Collazo, who used to live near Henley, commented to me, "I just love it here. The setting by the river is amazing and Henley is a truly beautiful place. But the best thing is the wide range of people here, of all ages and backgrounds with everyone just crazy for the music. I get such a kick out of seeing the younger people in their teens, twenties or thirties just thrilled about the 1980s sounds, even though this music was out before they were born. It gives me great hope for the future! Maybe I'll still have an audience here when I'm 100 years old!” His Odyssey bandmate Tremaine Dawkins added, “Yes, this festival is as good as it gets. I love it. It takes me back to the past and so many things that were great. From the late Seventies to the early Nineties was such a wonderful era for music, especially British music, and it is brilliant so many people here obviously recognise that! The crowds here are always amazing. Plus this event is always so well-run with really professional production, toor," Finally, Henley resident and main stage DJ for the festival Jamie Taylor said, "I do many dozens of events each year. But, of all of them, Henley's Rewind South is my favourite. I am a huge fan of Eighties music and no other event ever quite captures the full magic of the atmosphere that there is here in Temple Island Meadows. It is the absolute highlight of the year not just for me but for so many of the performers as well as the audience. Roll on Rewind South 2023!"

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Rewind South Festival - Temple Island Meadows, Henley-on-Thames, 19th...21st August

Rewind South Festival - Temple Island Meadows, Henley-on-Thames, 19th...21st August

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Nick Dent-Robinson attends exuberant 80's festival Rewind South, which included set from Holly Johnson The Human League, Midge Ure, Belinda Carlisle, Blancmange and The Selecter.

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