Rewind Festival - Backstage Pass
Taking place in the spectacular grounds of Capesthorne Hall, Rewind North is an annual music festival featuring icons of yesteryear. Craig Hough sits down with Event Manager Katt Lingard to find out more
For those that don’t know- what is Rewind Festival and what can people expect?
Rewind Festival is an incredible weekend dedicated to music that has defined generations from the 80s and beyond. It’s all-out fancy dress fun, with appearances from iconic artists, the UK’s hottest comedians, a full programme of family fun and so much more. Think bottomless brunches, gameshow themed bingo, karaoke battles, giant jukebox DJ sets and so much more. We’ve got boutique camping for a weekend of luxury, regular camping for the seasoned festival goer - and we have great value day tickets for those who fancy some Saturday or Sunday night fever. It’s all about sharing a weekend with like-minded music lovers and partying like its 1989.
Who came up with the original Rewind concept and what was their vision?
David Heartfield, the founder of Rewind, wanted to create a festival that showcased some of the incredible music from the 80s that influenced a generation and continue to fit into everyone’s playlists today. We’ve expanded the genre to include disco, rock, funk, pop and more spanning the 80s and beyond, and we think it’s one of the most unique and fun-loving festivals in the world.
What kind of crowd attends Rewind festival?
Rewind is truly a festival for everyone, we have children from as young as three coming with grandparents in their 60s! We have a full family programme of entertainment, with cinema, face painting, arts and crafts and even a Kids Disco. Our core fans keep returning year on year and tend to have grown up in the 80s - the rest, tend to wish they had! We have big groups coming to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries or just an annual get together. We’re really proud of our diverse, friendly and fun-loving crowd.
Your host venue is the stunning Capesthorne Hall, why was this chosen?
Cheshire is a beautiful area, and Capesthorne Hall and the grounds provide an incredible location for the weekend. The house stands pride of place behind the main stage, and there are very few festivals that have their own lakeside walkway back to the campsite.
Are you planning on introducing anything new to the layout of the Festival this year?
We will be adding more entertainment than ever, including an open- air sing along cinema, full family programme and a jam-packed schedule of comedy, games and our very own big breakfast disco! Alongside that we’ll have our very own crazy golf craft bar, Rewind’s Got Talent competition and lots more to add to a weekend of incredible music.
Who comes up with the line-up and how do you decide on what acts will attract the biggest audience?
Myself and the rest of the team approach the big question of the line up throughout the whole year, we’re already booking the 2020 event! There are lots of factors involved; the first being availability of artists that may no longer perform regularly, are based outside the UK, or already have gruelling schedules. Booking three festivals across six weeks is quite the logistical task! We’re really pleased with the variety on offer this year - and have plans to make sure that there’s something new and exciting on offer for years to come (with a lot of artists very excited to come and play for our audiences!)
Working on such a large-scale festival is a dream job, how did you get involved with Rewind festival?
I have worked in festivals since I very young, growing up on the site of T in the Park in Kinross, Scotland. When the opportunity came up to work on Rewind - with some of the most talented people in the business - I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
What is your role?
I am the Event Manager so responsible for the overall festival, its content, line up and delivery. Everything from booking the bands and traffic plans, through to designing our décor and working out the ticketing systems. I work with a brilliant team throughout the year and on-site who help make sure it is safe, full of fun and our audience can come and shamelessly enjoy a weekend with good friends, music and plenty of surprises along the way.
You’ve a clear passion for festivals, which do you enjoy attending the most?
Some festivals I love for the location, such as Skye Live festival, some I love for the music, such as Y Not Festival - but most of all it’s the atmosphere that matters to me - and it’s hard to top Rewind on that front! Particularly in front of my home crowd in Scotland!
Being a Rewind festival veteran, what are some of your past festival highlights?
If I were to break it down into one highlight from each of our sites I’d say; Rewind Scotland - seeing my parents in the front row singing “I need a hero” along with Bonnie Tyler at the top of their lungs in the sunshine! Rewind North - I was very nervous to tell the landowners that The Jacksons’ tour bus had accidentally knocked down a tree in the artist village - the landowners loved it, made a plaque, and the tree still lives to tell the tale (just a little wonky these days!. Rewind South - hosting our very first boat party on a paddle steamer on the Thames. Think tutus, karaoke and a brass band on an open top boat!
Are there any backstage stories that you can share?
The atmosphere is just as good backstage as it is in the front row. The artists have all known each other for years and enjoy hanging out. Queuing up for dinner alongside the likes of Bonnie Tyler and The Jacksons never stops feeling surreal!
Running such a high-profile festival means there is great potential for things to go wrong, what has been the biggest challenge you have been able to overcome?
When we took on Rewind from the previous owners, we were the new kids on the block trying to wow an audience who had been going for years. Trying to meet expectations of previous Rewinders but also bring a new and unique edge to the festival was a challenge but I think we produced the best Rewind festival to date - and that was only the start!
Your job seems both incredibly demanding and rewarding, if someone were to take your career path, what advice would you offer?
Organising a festival is like organising a small town, building it in a week, running it for a weekend and taking it down right after. It’s a lot of work, it’s all about the details and all about having the best people working with you. It demands your 100% attention but seeing a crowd of thousands of people singing their hearts out in the sunshine - that feeling is pretty hard to beat.
Rewind North takes place 2-4th August at Capesthorne Hall in Cheshire. For more information visit north.rewindfestival.com
Capesthorne Hall, Congleton Road, Siddington, Macclesfield SK11 9JY
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