News, Meets and Events

Henley Rewind Festival - 2015

by mlines » 23 Aug 2015, 20:20

With the weather forecast for this weekend showing all sorts of weather from "Tornados" in some newspapers through to flash flooding and heavy rain and wind we had to choose between going to the coast to see Bournemouth Air Show or going on the River Thames to the Rewind festival.

With the thought of bouncing around in the rain off Bournemouth and slogging along the A27 to leave Dorset and join the M3 we opted for the the Thames.

The summer season on the Thames consists of three major events: the Regatta, the Festival and the Rewind Festival. The season concludes with the Rewind festival. This is a 1980's festival on the banks of the Thames. Boat access is provided with paid moorings although the festival itself is not particularly visible from the river as the main stage is set a long way back.

However with the boats moored on the banks and the free-loaders anchored in the main part of the river its quite a party atmosphere on some of the boats. This is the only time I have seen crowds of boats actually anchored in the Thames rather than moored to some fixture. This is the real advantage of trailer boating as we get the best of both the sea and river worlds. The boat party raftup is pretty much unique to the Thames in the UK.

We travelled down and were guests of the Hoptroff family so it was time for a mini-raft up and party.....

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A real DIY Bimini top!

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Paul Daniels and the Wonderful Debbie Magee

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by Ianfs » 25 Aug 2015, 11:59

Looks like you all had a really great time. Wonderful place Henley.
Pics are great.
I've not heard of the Henley Rewind, is it newish or am I completely out of date?
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by mlines » 26 Aug 2015, 08:00

Henley 80's Rewind started in 2009 (when we got our first boat!)

It is a two day festival featuring 80's music, it seems to be growing year on year. It is down by Temple Island in the meadows there.

It is alongside the river and boat mooring is encouraged (but has to be paid for). You then have to arrange separate tickets to access the event itself and the main stage is not really visible from the river. However a bit of a party scene has evolved over the years. People buy tickets and attend the festival and then retire to the relative luxury of their boats to drink the rest of the night away. Alternatively "freeloaders" (such as us!) raft up in the river itself, typically anchoring midstream which is something you rarely see on the river. Large rafts of boats hanging off their anchors. These freeloaders then hold their own raft up parties.

So in July you have the Regatta Fireworks and last night party and the 5 day Henley Festival and in August you have the Rewind Festival. These have all become major boat meet-up events.

I suspect that the Henley Festival will have to be revised as the boat congestion has to be seen to be believed, at one point this year the river became jammed solid. There has been a bit of comment about damage to the Henley Regatta course wooden booms during the festival because of the sheer volume of boats. So I am anticipating some changes in years to come.

Equally for Rewind, if it gets any more popular then the raft ups in midstream will block the channel so I am guessing there will be some future enforcement of clearing the fairway.

However, all these events have a unique atmosphere for boating which I don't believe is reproduced anywhere else in the UK (The Festival must have had more that 1000 boats in the 1 mile of river - many of them row boat/tender size in a boat "mosh pit") and the organisers should recognise what this brings to the overall events.
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by Ianfs » 27 Aug 2015, 08:59

I must have been asleep for 6yrs. What a great idea, I really like the freeloading bit! :D
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