The Proclaimers to headline Towersey Festival at Thame showground

Sharon Shannon
Sharon Shannon

The Proclaimers, Richard Thompson, Beth Orton and Big Country are among the acts headlining the 54th Towersey Festival this summer.

Joining them are Fishermen’s Friends, the Sharon Shannon Band and Daphne’s Flight at the Thame Showground over the August bank holiday weekend.

Fishermans Friends

Fishermans Friends

It’s been 31 years since Scottish twins Charlie and Craig Reid, aka The Proclaimers, came to widespread public attention. Calling on folk, country, rock’n’roll and punk, the brothers have built up an impressive back catalogue, with such hits as I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles), Letter From America, King Of The Road, and more. .

Richard Thompson is no stranger to Towersey, having last appeared at the festival solo/ acoustic in 2015. For his latest appearance, the Fairport Convention co-founder brings his acclaimed Electric Trio.

Singer-songwriter Beth Orton’s enticing mix of acoustic and electronic elements have won her huge acclaim. Her 1999 record Central Reservation picked up the BRIT Award for Best Album, and her recent releases, Sugaring Season and Kidsticks, continue to beguile.

Celtic rock band Big Country’s hits include Field Of Fire (400 Miles), In A Big Country and Wonderland and visit Towersey to perform their acoustic set.

Other notable acts on the bill include award-winning Irish accordion player Sharon Shannon; Cornwall’s chart-busting eight-piece Fisherman’s Friends, who are credited with kick-starting a revival in shanty-style choral singing; singer-songwriter Martyn Joseph; and a reunited Daphne’s Flight, featuring five of the most acclaimed female singer-songwriters from their generation - Helen Watson, Melanie Harrold, Julie Matthews, Chris While and Christine Collister.

They’ll be playing alongside 10 times winners of the National Brass Band Champions of Great Britain, the Brighouse and Rastrick Band; rising Americana/ roots trio Wildwood Kin; a collaboration between Peter Knight (Steeleye Span) and John Spiers (Bellowhead); and Whetstone Brinsford Kirkpatrick, recreating Dave Whetstone’s landmark mid-90s folk album The Resolution for an exclusive Towersey appearance.

Towersey Festival director Joe Heap said: “We’ve got a great mix of big names making their Towersey debuts this year as well as some real returning favourites, such as Richard Thompson. We’re especially pleased to welcome The Proclaimers for the first time - they always put on a great show and have so many fabulous songs.”

One final piece of the jigsaw puzzle is yet to be revealed. Joe said: “There is one more incredible headline act to announce for August Bank Holiday Monday. We’ve just confirmed and will be announcing officially very soon.”

Established in 1965, Towersey is one of the UK’s longest continuously running independent music festivals. Boasting 11 venues, alongside an extensive music programme, the festival also features 24 hours of ceilidh, daily workshops, a well-stocked bar, street food, spoken word, film screenings, events and activities for children and younger festival-goers, and more.

Tickets for Towersey Festival, which runs from Friday, August 24 to Monday, August 27, are available now (Tier 2) from £119 (adult), £115 (conc), £84 (youth), £59 (child). For further information, and to book, visit

DAY BY DAY LISTINGS (key acts only):


Richard Thompson Electric Trio

Sharon Shannon Band

Wildwood Kin


Whetstone Brinsford Kirkpatrick (Exclusive Towersey appearance)


The Proclaimers

Big Country (Acoustic)

Daphne’s Flight

Martin Simpson

William The Conqueror

Tickled Pink


Beth Orton

Fisherman’s Friends

Martyn Joseph

Blair Dunlop

Brighouse and Rastrick Band

The Rheingans Sisters


[Headline Act To Be Announced]

Blackbeard’s Tea Party (Festival Finale)

Roy Bailey

Peter Knight and John Spiers


Lady Maisery


All About Children (activities for ages 5-11 year olds)


Youth programme (12-18yrs)


Ceilidh & Dance

The Folk Club

Street Theatre

Storytelling and Spoken Word

Film Screenings

Real Ale Bar

Street Food

Market Stalls