Fifty fabulous years for Towersey Festival!

Big crowds descended on Towersey Festival for the 50th year running to enjoy the famous folk vibe.

The action-packed event – which saw the village come to a standstill with live music and activities – drew more than 8,000 people over the bank holiday weekend.

Towersey Festival 2014 - pictured in the Ceilidh tent is the Scandi dance special workshop

Towersey Festival 2014 - pictured in the Ceilidh tent is the Scandi dance special workshop

The crowds enjoyed a programme featuring more than 200 acts across 10 stages in the tiny village.

Kicking off on Thursday night (Aug 21) with a nostalgic performance from The Bootleg Beatles, the long-running annual Oxfordshire event wrapped up on Monday night with a concert by the Conservatoire Folk Ensemble.

The internationally acclaimed music event – which will next year move to its new site on Thame Showground – began as a fundriaser for the village hall but is stronger than ever 50 years on.

Notable appearances this year were Richard Thompson, playing a sold-out solo show on the Friday, and folk legend Seth Lakeman on the Saturday.

A special, one-off concert marking 75 years of Topic Records – the world’s oldest truly independent record label – drew enthusiastic crowds as Eliza Carthy and guests including Lau, Blair Dunlop and Fay Hield honoured the label’s seminal back catalogue.

Great weather over the weekend brought large crowds of day-trippers to the showground, and even the rain on Monday didn’t dampen celebrations.

Festival director Joe Heap said: “The festival always has a great atmosphere, but with it being our ‘Golden Jubilee’, there was a real sense of occasion and celebration.

“So many visitors came up to me and said it was the best Towersey they’d been to.

“We had people travelling from right across the UK, 
including many who’ve been coming regularly since the 1960s and 1970s.

“We’d like to thank everyone who helped make our 50th birthday such a special occasion.”

The 51st Towersey Festival will run from August 28 to 31 next year, and more details will be announced in the coming months.

A man from Thame went missing after the Sunday show, sparking a massive police hunt and appeal for information on social media, but he was found safe and well on Tuesday evening.

His safe return prompted grateful family to thank the people of Thame and Towersey for their help in the search.

Our videographer Natalee Hazelwood was on hand at the festival to capture all the thrills and spills, which can be seen in the video above.

And why not check out the Thame Gazette on Facebook here to see a gallery of photographer Derek Pelling’s images from the historic festival?

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