Towersey Festival - moving into a new era

Towersey Festival 2014 - pictured are Aylesbury Youth Action members painting the TF 50 to celebrate 50 years of the festival
Towersey Festival 2014 - pictured are Aylesbury Youth Action members painting the TF 50 to celebrate 50 years of the festival
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For fifty years the residents of Towersey have seen their tiny village turned into a festival site for several days each summer.

From small beginnings the event has grown to welcome thousands of visitors from around the world, with performances taking place in fields, in the village hall and outside the pub.

Vistors staying for more than one day have set up home in the campsites with their tents, awnings, fairy lights and flags.Residents have moved their cars and some even set up tables outside their homes from where they sold home made cakes and crafts.

But this year the festival of music, dance, theatre, good food, circus skills and craft workshops, is moving to a new home - the Thame Showground just across the road from the village.

A change to farming practice has meant the fields in Towersey are no longer available for use, but the organisers have promised the incredible spirit of the quite unique festival will remain, even if the location has changed.

All the things visitors love will still be there - Venue 65 and The Big Club, as well as free parking. Organisers have worked hard to make sure ‘The Towersey Experience’ is retained, hence the return of Towersey favourites Bellowhead, Roy Bailey and Spooky Men’s Chorale.

Festival director Joe Heap said: “Building on the success of our fiftieth anniversary last year, our line-up is bigger and better. We have new improved production - lighting, sound and staging - and the fact that the festival is now on one, flat, site will mean greatly improved access for festival goers, no more difficult trudging about, showing passes constantly.”

Acts already booked include Joan Armatrading, Stornoway and Show of Hands.

The festival takes place from Friday August 28 through to Monday 31.

Mr Heap said: “We continue to maintain strong links with the village. Over the years we’ve given in the region of half a million pounds to village causes and projects, and we hope to be able to continue to support them.

“There will still be an historic red bus shuttling visitors back and forth from the festival site to Thame and Towersey village, various village organisations have been invited to take free stalls, and both Towersey and Thame residents are able to purchase heavily discounted tickets to the festival and showground.”

Mr Heap said the festival has always enjoyed great relationships with local businesses and this year Thame’s First Thursday Music Club will programme the Showground Bar Stage which will see 12 hours of music each day including many local acts. In addition, on-site bars will be serving a range of real ales and ciders from over half a dozen local breweries.

Ticket prices vary. Full details on www.towerseyfestival.com