Upon arriving at the Rewind Festival North, newly launched this year, you are instantly hit by the beauty and perfection of the site writes Caz Jenkins. Capesthorne Hall, known for utilising its’ Hall and Gardens for various events and activities, seems to be the perfect setting for the launch of this 80’s festival in the North. With a riverside campsite and plenty of grounds for the main-stage along with various tents and fairground attractions, it is clear that the location clearly lives up to its’ reputation. Sara Jenkins cast her eye over proceedings and took the photos.
The Stage is positioned at the bottom of a large field which allowed for the slopes to be used as prime viewing spots for the public. With such a big line up for the Saturday and the people began to flood in you had the sense that once people arrived to watch the music, they weren’t moving for the while day. With acts such as The New York Brass Band around the site before the first act of the day took to the stage you could sense the excitement from the crowd. Having only one stage the festival drew in its audience and kept them transfixed for the entire day through the sun as well as the rain. People dressed as their favourite 80’s characters could be spotted around the festival. A chance to relive those influential years.
The day was kicked off by the fun and energetic The Real Thing followed by the widely successful Abba tribute act ‘Bjorn Again’. Then Nick Heyward with hits from his Haircut 100 days as well as the enthusiastic dance crazy Go West. The atmosphere of the day elevated with each band taking to the stage and this was no different when Mike and The Mechanics took to the stage, especially once they launched into All I Need Is A Miracle. They were professional as always, knowing exactly how to work the crowd and engaging with us all.
As the light began to fade Jimmy Somerville took to the stage to remind everyone why his music is still as big today as it ever was. He was there to party with the crowd and that’s exactly what he did singing hit after hit after hit and putting on a top show and having fun.
The two big names of the day were saved until last and then released on an already pumped up crowd. This is when they brought out the man titled Best Act Ever at the MTV Europe Music Awards, who topped the charts throughout Europe in 1987, Rick Astley. Opening with one of his most popular songs Together Forever he started off with a bang and the tone was set. Playing most of his top hits as well as a spectacular cover of Get Lucky by Daft Punk.. There was only really one song he could finish with and this was Never Gonna Give You Up which had the crowd singing each and every word with him.
To headline the first day of this new festival was the man who has sold over 30 Million records in his time, the one and only Billy Ocean. He reminded us why he was so good at what he does as he captivated the audience with not just his voice but his dance moves as well. Stepping out onto the stage he was greeted by cheers and screams which the audience had probably been warming up to all day. Allowing the crowd to sing along with him he worked through a set of hits which included classics such as Get Outta My dreams, Get Into My Car, When The Going Gets Tough and Red Light. You could see how dedicated the crowd were to this set as he began to sing Love Train the crowd created their own love trains and went snaking through the crowd.
Taking a step away from the music, there are many more elements to the Rewind North Festival, which of course bring variety. Whether you fancy a thrill-seeking time at the fairground attractions or whether you’re wanting to spend some time with your mini festival-goers at the Kidzone, one thing for certain is that you won’t be short of activities.
After the music finishes with a lavish fireworks display the crowd disperses to explore the other parts of this festival from the silent disco located in a large tent or if you’re looking to find new talent in the form of live acoustic music, then visiting the Wind-it Inn is a must! On the way back to your tent for the evening before doing the same all over tomorrow you are treated to some last minute treats such as the hammocks where you can have a relaxing lie down to the giant blue inflatable men lying by the beautiful river near the teepee field.
All in all, the organisation and the risk it took to make this fantastic festival happen was worth it. In the end with the not even the weather deterred people from the music as the first drops of rain were felt and the place erupted in open umbrellas. Not only do I think this festival will be back next year (we know it is already established in Scotland and The South) but expect to see it bigger and packed with even more big 80s acts. Out of all the festivals that happen around Britain I can safely say that this is one of the more unique ones with its own vibes and ideas, it is giving the people what they want, and after this weekend they have shown that what they want is the 80’s back.
Sara Jenkins & Caz Jenkins were Rewind North Festival 30th August 2014.