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Towersey Festival 2017

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by David Vincent (subscribe)
Occasional blogger and sometimes freelance writer, hammering away in the West Midlands.
Event: -
Big names set for legendary independent festival
KT Tunstall
Friday night headliner, KT Tunstall

One of the UK's longest running independent music festival returns this August Back Holiday for four days of entertainment.

The 53rd Towersey Festival takes place from Friday 25 to Monday 28 August 2017 at Thame Showground, Thame - on the Oxfordshire side of the Oxon/ Bucks border.

Headline acts include (Fri) KT Tunstall and Jon Boden; (Sat) Newton Faulkner, Eliza Carthy and The Wayward Band and The Blockheads; (Sun) Show Of Hands, Foy Vance, Lindisfarne, and an afternoon tribute to Paul Simon's Graceland album by The Gary Stewart Band; (Mon) The Demon Barbers XL, Coope Boys and Simpson, Roy Bailey, Jim Causley Trio and Merry Hell.

After being close to giving up music, KT Tunstall has rediscovered her muse with recent album Kin, which was inspired by some of the great groups who lived in and around Los Angeles during he late 60s/ early 70s, such as Fleetwood Mac and CSN&Y, while Jon Boden is no stranger to Towersey, having appeared at the festival many times with both the now legendary Bellowhead and as one half of Spiers and Boden.

Show Of Hands are guaranteed crowd pleasers, who regularly sell out the Royal Albert Hall in London, and appear at the festival the same day as Newcastle folk rockers Lindisfarne and Irish singer-songwriting Foy Vance, who has writing credits on some of Ed Sheeren's big hits (Foy's also signed to Ed's label).

With ceilidh dances and drop-in sessions running throughout the festival, it's very much folk / roots, but there's no shortage of things to do and see.

Alongside the acts, there's street theatre performances, lantern making (culminating in the traditional Monday evening Lantern Parade), daily sessions with the Towersey Festival Choir (which also culminates in a performance), film screenings, yoga, zumba and music-making workshops (including many led by artists appearing at the festival).

There's also a solid programme of activities designed to keep the younger festival-goer occupied and entertained with All About Children aimed at ages 5-11 years, and plenty elsewhere for 11-18 year-olds too, from chilling out to engineering challenges!

Since the first festival way back in 1965, Towersey has established itself as a peaceful, chilled, welcoming yet inspiring festival, that regularly welcomes generations of families to its camp site.

It may not have the national profile of some folk festivals (such as Cambridge or nearby Cropready), but it's certainly a popular destination - especially for those who prefer not to battle the crowds, and get up a little closer to the acts.

It also boasts that all main stages are under cover, so the festival continues, whatever the British weather has in store!

There are a variety of ticket options available, including Weekend (for all four days), Day (from 30 for an Adult), and also Festival Green (a Day Ticket which gives limited access to key areas of the festival). Concessions are also available (for Weekend tickets), as are Resident Discounts. Under 5s are free, and so is car parking.

For more details, including the full line-up, see:

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Why? Where music has roots
When: Daily from early 'til late
Phone: 01629 827016
Where: Thame Showground, Thame, Oxfordshire OX9 3JL
Cost: From 30 per day (adult)
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