Thousands dance to the beat at Towersey Festival

The Kayobi Taiko Drumming group
The Kayobi Taiko Drumming group

Thousands of people danced the weekend away as the 49th Towersey Festival came to town for five days of Bank Holiday entertainment.

There was a huge variety of artists and activities on offer to suit every taste, from rockers to families out for the day.

Highlights included performances by The Blockheads, who opened the festival, and Australian all-male choir The Spooky Men’s Chorale, who made several appearances, including leading workshops.

This year’s showground was bigger than before and included a local produce area and a new music stage in the bar, which proved to be very popular with the punters.

The great weather on Bank Holiday Monday brought huge crowds out, resulting in one of the most popular days at the festival in four or five years.

There were some small hiccups in the programme, with a bereavement forcing one of Swiss Cajun punk band Mama Rosin to pull out of the show.

However, accordion player John Spiers, of Bellowhead and Spiers and Boden fame, came to the rescue and filled the vacant spot in the band.

BBC Radio Oxford’s Will Gompertz and Bill Heine broadcasted live from the festival on Sunday morning, interviewing performers, stall holders, and volunteers. Their three-hour broadcast also included a live performance from Martin Carthy.

The festival was officially closed on the Monday night by Spiers and Boden.

Even as organisers packed away this year’s festival, plans were already under way to get ready for the 2014 event, which will be the 50th in Towersey’s history.

Festival goers have been told to expect some very special guests for the Golden Jubilee event, which is being held from August 21 to 25. Early bird tickets for the 2014 festival are on sale now.Visit www.towerseyfestival.com for more details.