Sometimes the best things in life start in an unexpected way. Imagine, you’re about to go to a festival, you’ve kept your ticket safely in your desk, and you’ve been getting excited as the date approaches. You pack your bags with the essentials: small stove, sleeping bag, waterproofs, clothes, and food. You’ve got your train ticket on your mobile, and you’re ready to go.
Then your accommodation falls through.
On the bright side, I discover this before setting off from London. But it’s the day of the festival, my train departs in 2 hours, and I have nowhere to stay. Even lastminute.com is coming up empty. Thank God for friends, who helped me find probably the last privately listed room in Macclesfield, the nearest town to Rewind The 80s Festival North.
So I put a smile on my face and, after a few more bumps, land on the festival site. The sun’s shining, the crowd’s cheering, and the music’s already playing. I’m clearly late. But the good thing about festivals is you forget about the outside world. The full onslaught on your senses, the sights, the sounds, the smells, make your head spin and your soul sing.
As I settle in, the festival field is filled with thousands of music lovers young and old. Some clearly remember the ’80s first-hand. Others, who weren’t even alive at the time, are rediscovering the era and proving that music is timeless and knows no age boundaries.
Although I’m a rock fan through and through, ’80s pop hits are not unknown to me. In fact, I’ve always had a small love affair with the sweet sound of the era. Rocking my AC/DC hoodie, I dance with the crowd, singing out loud, watching bands I never expected to see live.
Saturday offers up The Blockheads, Peter Hook & The Light, The Trevor Horn Band, Level 42, Dr & The Medics, Tom Robinson, Hugh Cornwell, Altered Images, Roland Gift, Kim Wild, Village People, and Sister Sledge, which all adds up to one huge party. Even the rain, which pours down on Sunday, leaving me soaking wet, can’t crush the Rewind spirit.
Along with the rain, Sunday brings my personal highlight of the festival, Status Quo. They’re the band I missed out on last Glastonbury because they clashed with Radiohead. Topping the bill at Rewind North, they’re as unbelievably good as I expected. Age does not diminish real talent.
The second day of the festival also sees the likes of Johny Hates Jazz, Junior Marvin’s Wailers, The Orchestra, British Electric Foundation, John Parr, T’Pau, Toyah, Nick Heyward, and Belinda Carlise keep the good times going. The mixture is served spiced up and well shaken by one of the most influential icons of the ’80s, DJ Rusty Egan.
If you’re a fan of the decade, Rewind is a festival you shouldn’t miss, although I’d recommend it to every music lover. And there’s still one more chance to rewind this year, with the South edition scheduled for 18-20 August at Henley-On-Thames.
Rewind The 80s Festival North, Cheshire, 5-6 August 2017
Photostory by Edyta K