We go back to the decade of big hair, shoulder pads and Rubik’s Cubes this weekend with that celebration of all things 1980s – Rewind.
The festival of music from the decade when Maggie was in Number 10, the miners were on the streets and the yuppies were raking it in, is one of the most fun events in Oxfordshire’s cultural calendar and brings tens of thousands of people to Temple Island Meadows in Henley.
Following the festival’s massive 10th anniversary celebration last year, Rewind South (there are also sister events in Scotland and the North) returns with a line-up celebrating music icons of the 80s – and, increasingly, the decades either side.
Grandmaster Flash, Four Tops and Michael Bolton headline the event, which runs from tomorrow to Sunday, both playing the festival for the first time.
Organisers have promised the most musically diverse line-up yet, with added entertainment including comedy and family activities. However planned Saturday headliner Michael Bolton pulled out, to be replaced by The Waterboys.
Event manager Katt Lingard said: “Following our milestone 10th anniversary last year, we are excited to take Rewind into the future with a celebration of not just 80s artists but also legends whose influence spans far beyond the decade.
“We are welcoming a host of fantastic artists who will be performing at the festival for the very first time like Four Tops, Lulu and Grandmaster Flash. It’s going to be a fantastic three days at Temple Island Meadows with something for everyone.”
Four Tops – one of the defining acts of the Motown era – headline on Saturday. Led by original member Duke Fakir, the quartet are set to deliver a spirited performance of their classics such as Reach Out (I’ll Be There) and I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch).
Throughout their rich career, the Four Tops have been honoured with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, had two songs in the Grammy Hall of Fame, and been named in the Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
Joining them is Lulu, who has become a household name since the 60s with her signature hits Shout and To Sir With Love. The singer-songwriter shows no sign of slowing down, earning praise for her soaring, soulful vocals at recent shows.
Other music icons confirmed to perform include Heaven 17, Heather Small, Tiffany, Kim Appleby, The Dire Straits Experience,The Undertones and Ali Campbell and Astro’s UB40.
Ali said: “There is nothing quite like performing at Rewind. The audiences are some of the happiest you will find anywhere and it’s very special to be a part of that. This is looking like the festival’s most diverse line-up yet. It’s going to be great seeing all these artists from different genres and decades come together in one place. Come and see us perform all our hits and party with us. Big love!”
The legendary Kathy Sledge of the original Sister Sledge also appears, following her acclaimed performance for Nocturne Live at Blenheim Palace at the start of the summer. Expect such disco stompers as We Are Family, He’s The Greatest Dancer and Lost in Music. Also popping up are Belinda Carlisle, Paul Young, Midge Ure, Hazel O’Connor, The Wailers, The Selecter, Neville Staple, and From The Jam.
Hazel O’Connor said: “I’m always happy to be part of Rewind. To see all your old musical mates from the past, to hear all their fantastic music and such fun backstage… it’s like a school reunion!”
With everything from old-skool hip hop, from the likes of Grandmaster Flash, to crooners, rockers and disco legends, Rewind South looks like being the perfect festival weekend – especially if you were a child of the 80s.
Let’s get physical!
Rewind South runs from tomorrow (Friday) to Sunday at Temple Island Meadows, Henley.
Tickets from bit.ly/rewindsouthtix
Don’t miss: Four tops are bona fide legends. One of the most influential and longest-serving Motown group, they are responsible for such hits as Reach Out (I’ll Be There) and I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch). See them while you can.