ROUND-UP: Towersey Festival - what a weekend!

Where in the world can you see Billy Bragg, Kate Rusby, The Wonderstuff, Tom Robinson, Midge Ure, Nizlopi and a whole host of other amazing live acts?

Wednesday, 31st August 2016, 4:01 pm
Updated Wednesday, 31st August 2016, 5:06 pm

It’s the Towersey Festival of course! And thousands of revellers headed to the Thame Showground over the bank holiday to do just that.

The atmosphere was electric, and the well-run folk festival did not disappoint, even when there was a little bit of rain on Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

The event kicked off in spectacular form on Friday, with headliners Kate Rusby and Billy Bragg.

Kate Rusby got the audience giggling with her Northern wit (she’s from Barnsley you know), but wowed them in equal measure with her spectacular vocal stylings.

And then along came Billy Bragg, the Bard of Barking.

His arguably perfect set of classics and newer material referenced Woody Guthrie and English folk music. And true to form, the outspoken campaigner was unafraid to air his views between songs.

And with a touching nod to the late Kirsty Macoll who covered Bragg’s A New England, he included her own verse of the song in his encore performance.

As well as the big names, the festival was a chance for many newer and unsigned acts to strut their stuff in front of a supportive crowd.

The Bar Stage was run by Thame’s own First Thursday Music Club, who provided a stellar line-up of interesting acts throughout the weekend, including final band of the night Cosmosis who played a blinder to a still up for it crowd of revellers on the Monday night.

In the interim festival-goers enjoyed intriguing sets from acts including the fabulous Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain, Nizlopi and a singalong set from The Wonderstuff, as well as stand-out performances from Midge Ure and Tom Robinson.

But Towersey is not just about the music.

A plethora of stalls and workshops showcased the best in unusual and handmade items, including the giant carved animal statues which welcomed day ticket holders in via gate number three.

The event attracted around 7,000 people over the four days, and the festival of all things unusual and creative culminated in a spectacular lantern procession.

Towersey director Joe Heap, said: “This year was our biggest ever line-up, and visitors really responded positively to the bill, as well as the site and infrastructure improvements we made.

“There were so many highlights, from the family-friendly events and our patron, Roy Bailey, launching his new album, to the 
Festival Dance House (FDH) stage, where there was a buzzing atmosphere with lots of young people embracing the festival’s strong dance programme. The artists also enjoyed the event with Sunday headliner Midge Ure Tweeting: “A beautifully run festival. Lovely organisation and great crowd… it was a joy to play.”