EVEN though I’m an eighties nut, I had never previously made it to the Rewind Festival.

The annual event in Henley-on-Thames - another one takes place in Scotland in July - is less than an hour’s drive away, meaning there’s really no excuse to ever have missed this celebration of the decade, particularly its music.

This year’s performing artists included Kim Wilde, The B-52s, Billy Ocean, Then Jerico, Chesney Hawkes, Heaven 17 and Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel on Saturday, and ABC, Belinda Carlisle, The Pointer Sisters, Go West, Cutting Crew, Matt Bianco and Sonia on the Sunday.

The husband and I live a country away from any available family babysitters, so unfortunately had our potty-training three year-old in tow. She wasn’t as excited about hearing Anvil favourite Paul Carrack perform The Living Years as I was, but she certainly made the most of the children’s entertainment which had been laid on.

Just as you passed through the gate, there was an area full of circus equipment laid out on the grass for younger festivalgoers, including a mini tightrope, juggling balls and clubs, hula hoops, skipping ropes and a pogo stick.

There was also a mini arena full of wheeled vehicles including unicycles, and lots of the young boys typically got a little carried away, zooming around having a ball and breaking out onto the main walking area.

Inside the little big tent, performances took place all day and many families happily spent time watching the shows and even participating.

Aside from the music, lots of the fun of Rewind is clearly to be had in the communal celebration of the decade. We delighted in looking out for the finest fancy dress we could spot and there was a terrific array to choose from.

In addition to the many people who were dressed as a Rubik’s Cube, we spotted costume tributes to Miami Vice, Wham, Freddie Mercury, Beetlejuice, Whoopee cushions and Nintendo characters Mario and Luigi. Dayglo ruled, preferably accompanied by a mullet and some legwarmers.

My personal favourites were the Cobra Kai, Sloth from The Goonies and a duo clad as Jareth and Sarah from Labyrinth. Top marks.

We plonked down in front of the main arena to enjoy our lunch and savoured what must be one of the most welcoming and positive festival atmospheres I have ever experienced. We spotted former Radio One DJ Mike Read surveying the scene from the press tent, looking from a distance as if he hadn’t changed (particularly his hair) one bit. 

The hits were welcomed more warmly than the rest of the music, but it all went down a treat, Mr Carrack the strongest of the bunch for me.   

Next year, we’ll be back – hopefully minus the nipper!