A year ago I attended my first festival, Henley Rewind ‘The 80s Festival’ 2011 and survived! This year we’ve a bigger party of people and I’m excited to show some Festival Firsties that even at 40 and 50 years of age festivals can be fun!
OK OK so it’s not Glastonbury and it is 80s music and it’s sort of civilised but we’re camping and if it rains it’ll be muddy – surely that counts, right?
We met up a few weeks ago to work out a few logistical things (and to drink a fine bit of beer and picnic in some rare sunshine!). As the group is much larger we required a huge pitch for all the tents. We also needed a little coordination on who was bringing what – I had visions of eleventeen bladders of wine, 14 bags of crisps and gummi bears and no real food (hey in the 80s that’d probably have been the right thing to do!).
My first disaster of the weekend though was my new 6 person tent, purchased at the end of last summer in the sale. The first attempt at putting this up was during the Olympics and we discovered that one of the main crossover posts was missing a section. This meant that it was quite a bit shorter and the sleeping pods don’t really do their thing! I emailed the company in Germany and with their usual German efficiency a box arrived a few days ago rattling with new poles…. sadly the wrong ones! Too late to do anything about it, I ventured to the stores on Thursday morning and purchased a couple of ‘festival tents’.
The second disaster was that the infection I thought had gone when I smugly told the consultant I didn’t want any surgery and discharged myself from hospital a few weeks ago, returned with vengeance on Thursday too! After some frantic calls, my GP wrote out a prescription for me to take, doubled for the first few days so that I can survive being in a campsite but only on the basis that any sight of blood, I’m to go straight to hospital! I had however forgotten that these pills also made me feel pretty damn horrible too with nausea, headaches and vomiting (errr not something you want to do or feel on a campsite either!). Not going to dwell on this too much but suffice it to say that my Rewind experience for Friday and Saturday was somewhat marred by the side affects – haha (oops) stopped taking the pills on Saturday night and felt so much better on Sunday! Hehehe maybe the double-dosing had worked too!
As I arrived in the field to park the car, at the agreed early time of midday (gates don’t open until 2pm), I saw a queue snaking round the edge of the field with other campers doing the same thing! Fortunately in the queue was the first group of our party. Eeeek the pressure is on for us, en masse, to secure a big enough pitch (not next to the portaloos) for all 11 tents and a gazebo to be erected AND have enough space to chill out and eat and drink!
Exchanging our tickets for wristbands, we raced to find a spot.
It wasn’t long before all tents were set up (despite the fabulous sunshine and heat of the day) and we were reaching for the first cool campsite drinks!
The rest of the party arrived during the course of the afternoon and found their tents ready and waiting for them.
Friday night at Rewind is for the campers, glampers and campervaners. The fairground is open, the bars are open and there is entertainment in a couple of locations. The main one being a small stage where there are a couple of bands early on and then the karaoke starts… always a giggle, some in tune and some not… but certainly enough for us all to errr ‘sing’ along to!
As the bar closed we headed back to the camp for a few cheeky nightcaps. Then the serenading of snoring began!! Oh the joys of camping.
Following breakfast, sausage or bacon sandwiches (which was delivered to the site at 7am at the bidding of one of our campers, Steve) and then cooked by David, several of us headed out of camp. We were fortunate to have a few local people in the group who had ‘offered’ hot running water and flushing toilets! Oooh what bliss to be able to have a shower and get clean!
Back to campsite for a little lunch and drinks before the festival really began. I was definately ‘off food’ so opted for being an advance party and securing sufficient amount of space in the music arena for us all to sit, dance, drink and party! By the time I got there, ie early, the space was already limited.
The music kicked off with Grandmaster Flash. The lineup for Saturday was Kool & the Gang, Soul II Soul, 5 Star, Doctor & The Medics, The Bangles, Rick Astley, Starship, Heather Small, Jimmy Sommerville, Sinitta and Right Said Fred.
Believe me when I say there are memories that flood back with many of the tunes and also a lot of confused looks as a tune starts up and noone appears to know what it is! This year however I was extremely disappointed with the sound at the event. It was really poor and for some of the acts they were barely audible!
Sunday began much as Saturday with breakfast (which I could now stomach) and the packing up of some of the tents. Those people who were working on Monday morning would make an escape on Sunday evening. Why is it that tents never go back in to be bags as easily as they’ve come out… and as for pop up tents???
(sorry about the lack of fade at the end!!)
Sunday’s lineup was much better than Saturday however the sound was still not great for a lot of the acts. 😦
Highlights musically have to be Roland Gift, Tony Hadley and OMD. All of them great performers as well which, after all, is why you go to see them live! I think also that Tony Hadley had the advantage in that we’d all had a warm up during the Olympics with ‘Gold‘!
A special mention has to go to all the people who dressed up for Rewind. Truly some awesome outfits! Not sure how you managed to keep the facepaint on all day in that heat though!
Hehehe did you spot the baby in the last picture with neon ear defenders?
Time to hang up the fluorescent items and remove the fluro nail polish and multicoloured fluro eyelashes for another year!
and I shall have to acquire some new paints for my tent so it can be updated for another day!