We had VIP tickets enabling us to enter a special area right by the stage where we got to meet the stars. We had a great view of the artists performing onstage and we also had access to seating and shaded areas which were really appreciated by me (I'm not as young as I used to be!)
I took Ella with me. She may not even have been born in the 80s but her eclectic musical taste extends across the decades so she knew quite a few of the bands that were playing. Any that she did not know, she was eager to discover so we both were excited about the festival.
The line-up included some old favourites of mine. Midge Ure, Marc Almond and Adam Ant were top on my list of acts I wanted to see most of all, being the genre of 80s music I used to love listening to when I was a teenager.
The weather was absolutely glorious, with temperatures approaching 30 degrees. I was so glad for the undercover seated area that we could escape to with a cold drink. I am not sure I could have coped with being in the heaving throng of 80s revellers in the main crowd.
There was a lovely atmosphere at the festival, with most of the music fans being in their forties who have followed the bands across the years. The artists themselves were mostly very humble and appreciative of their continuing fandom, which allows them to get up on stage and perform their iconic hits again and again thanks to the musical revival of the era.
We were so lucky to be able to meet so many of the 80s stars who were all really happy to pose for photos and were very friendly. Ella got herself photographed with a whole host of the artists...how many do you recognise??
Her famous friends are from top to bottom, left to right:
Heather Small from M-People, Richard Fairbrass from Right Said Fred, Doctor and the Medics, John Parr who sang St.Elmo's Fire, Chesney Hawkes, lead singer of The Christians, singer from The Straits (formerly Dire Straits..now minus Mark Knopfler), Tony Hadley and Midge Ure.
Highlights from the stage were many. Adam Ant's set was amazing. He was back to his dressed up best performing Ant Music, Prince Charming, Kings of the Wild Frontier and Goody Two Shoes. I videoed it for Ian who was a huge Adam Ant fan and still harbours a rather large man-crush on him!!
Midge Ure performing Vienna was stunning. It gave me goosebumps as the crowd of 20,000 clapped the beat of the intro. Everyone was silent except for the haunting music and the clapped beat. Midge sang perfectly and it was an amazing moment.
Tony Hadley performed Gold, the gold medal theme tune of the Olympics. Everyone joined in, remembering the 29 medals won by Team GB with pride! He also covered our favourite Sterophonics song Dakota, which was great. He has such a powerful voice.
Marc Almond doing Tainted Love took me back to being fourteen again. What a blast from the past! He also did Bedsit Land, Say Hello, Wave Goodbye and Something's Got A Hold Of My Heart. Just perfect!
I loved Rick Astley's set...what an unexpected pleasure that was! He is a total professional and was such a warm and friendly guy. Kool and the Gang put on an incredible show full of Motown-esque pizzazz. Seeing Ella watch The Straits perform her favourite song Romeo and Juliet was a wonderful moment. It's a song she has covered a year ago on her Youtube channel and she loves it.
All in all, we had an absolutely brilliant weekend. Ella was able to add another couple of bands to her list of artists that she wants to investigate further. We met some lovely people and had a lot of fun...plus we hobnobbed with the stars! I got to relive my teens and we sang our hearts out to some of the most iconic songs of the 80s in the glorious sunshine.
Thanks so much to Ecover for this incredible opportunity! Check out www.the-splash.co.uk for the Ecover online magazine.