European Vacation Day 4: Be Kind & Rewind!

Sunday August 19th was the Rewind Festival at Henley-On-Thames, which was the catalyst that spurred this whirlwind trip to London and Paris into action.  This was my first ever festival, and I thought my first festival would be Coachella or Lollapalooza, but I’m actually glad to say that my first festival was in a different country.   Although we would have loved to have gone to both days of the festival (especially to see Rick Astley and Jimmy Somerville on Saturday August 18th), both Janice and I don’t really camp in America, so camping in another country 5,000 miles away from home was most likely out of the question.

I bought these for the train ride to Henley.  Oh. My. SO. Good.

Premium Pear Cider, mmmm!

The line up for both days.  The running order for the Sunday show remained true to the list above.

We discovered that Henley-on-Thames is not as close to London as we had perceived it to be.  A few weeks prior to our vacation, I decided to finally check out how we would route our trip to Henley.  I was glad that I did because I would have never perceived that it would be approximately 35 miles from London, in Oxfordshire.  Being that we don’t have licenses to drive in Great Britain, I furiously looked for transportation from London, and I found that we would need to take the National Railway.  This would mean that while we could get there with no issues and start our concert festivities early, we knew we would miss the last act because we would need to get back to the station in time to return back to our hotel.  In hindsight, we maybe could have just gotten a hotel in Henley and then taken an early train to St. Pancras to just simply connect to our train to Paris.  Don’t they say hindsight is always 20/20?

Concert goers on a mission!  These were actually the folks who initially helped us navigate our way around Henley.  After that, we met quite a few other nice people who helped answer questions as we needed.

The water taxi we took back to the train station after the concert.

Henley is a beautiful, picturesque town.  Janice caught some great pictures of our walk along the river to the festival area.  The venue itself was on Temple Island Meadows, which has been the home of the Rewind Festival for the past few years.  The festival itself was larger than anything I had been to previously.  It felt like the San Diego County Fair combined with a food truck event, but with way better music and bands (in my humble opinion, of course).  I will say that the acts that I wanted see played everything I wanted to hear:  Adam Ant, Midge Ure, Marc Almond and Tony Hadley.  My only regret was not being able to catch OMD, but that’s only because of the aforementioned time constraints.   In fact, we nearly missed Tony Hadley!  But we got to stay through his set because our friendly neighborhood concert goers explained that our train tickets were good for the night because the trains departed every 30 minutes.  My favorite concert moments:

  • Dancing around like a lunatic during Adam Ant’s set.
  • When Midge Ure played “Vienna” and “Dancing With Tears In My Eyes”, I practically cried.
  • Surprised that Roland Gift actually played “She Drives Me Crazy”, and loved that he played “Good Thing”.
  • Completely not expecting to hear “Tears Run Rings” by Marc Almond. I had read previous set lists from his shows, and I don’t recall seeing that song on there.
  • Every. Single. Song. By. Tony Hadley. 

Rather than continue to describe all of the events, I just made selections from both sets of photos by Janice and myself to just illustrate the awesome time we had.   Next post: A quick two-day jaunt to Paris!

Adam Ant fans, no?

Some of the booths at the festival, which included vintage clothing!  Janice got some totally bitchin’ leg warmers there.

Ohmigod, Janice!  That side ponytail and those leg warmers are in full effect.  Totally.

Our pile o’stuff.  I think we were the least prepared to be there.  Next time, we need to at least bring a throw blanket, mat or towel!

Originally, I brought the umbrella in case it rained. It turned out to be useful to keep cool!  And yes, that is yet another Joy Division shirt that I’ve added to my collection.

This lighthouse/windmill looking building was actually a giant slide!  At first, it was mostly kids coming down the slide with their parents.  Later into the night, alcohol fuelled everyone’s inner child to take a ride.

Adam Ant and The Good, The Mad and The Lovely Posse

There was karaoke for the crowd between sets.  Duran Duran anyone?

Everybody Wang Chung tonight!

Carol Decker of T’Pau putting in some heart and soul into her hit song of the same name.

Midge Ure looking and sounding wonderful after the mini-fiasco of the first song (his mic was completely shut off for an entire song).

Marc Almond not only sang “Tears Run Rings” but also “Tainted Love” and “Say Hello, Wave Goodbye”.

We were excited to know we could stay for Tony Hadley!

Tony Hadley sounded so amazing live.  Although I know the favorite was “Gold”, my highlight was “Only When You Leave”.

My iPhone lighter for when Tony sang “True”…

This group of concert-goers sat behind us.  They were so awesome and answered many of our questions.  They also ave us glow sticks to carry our celebration into the night.

Janice spotted some interesting characters in neon.  I don’t think I have seen that much neon collectively in one place, except at a mall back in the actual 80’s.

Teen Wolf attacked me on the way out of the festival (or was it the werewolf from “Thriller”?). Either way, I survived!


  1. good god you must have had fun. I want you to be my travel agent and go with me on my next vacation just to make sure I do it right!

    1. We totally had fun! I think experiencing a festival or concert in another country was one of the best things I’ve ever planned because it’s a different take on what we do here. Just like the football game we went to in London.

      Let me know when you’re going and I’ll plan it for you! lol 🙂

      Hope you’re doing well my dear 🙂


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