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Towersey Festival 2013

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by David Vincent (subscribe)
Occasional blogger and sometimes freelance writer, hammering away in the West Midlands.
Event: -
Oxfordshire's best kept festival secret
Selected by The Guardian as one of their Best... For Summer 2013 events, Oxfordshire's Towersey Festival has been quietly wowing audiences since the 1960s.

While it might not have the profile of some folk/ acoustic leaning festivals (such as the Cambridge Folk Festival), Towersey nonetheless remains a firm favourite amongst attending artists and fans.

Taking place over the August Bank Holiday in the village of Towersey, close to Thame, the five-day festival starts on the night of Thursday 22 August with a headline appearance from The Blockheads.

the blockheads
The Blockheads: A good reason to be cheerful!


Replacing the late Ian Dury is his old pal Derek 'The Draw' Hussy, whose delivery of such hits as What A Waste, Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick and Reasons To Be Cheerful Part 3, is very much in the same spirit. Check out their 2009 single Greed on YouTube for proof that the band have lost none of their musical chops.

The Unthanks
The Unthanks


The line up for the rest of the fest' includes (Fri 23 Aug) the Mercury Prize nominated sisters, The Unthanks, banjo hero Dan Walsh, and Scottish/Norwegian trio Vamm; (Sat 24 Aug) acclaimed duo Show Of Hands (joined by Miranda Sykes), guitarist and songwriter Martin Simpson (who's been working with Richard Hawley), reformed English dance legends Gas Mark 5; (Sun 25 Aug) Home Service (featuring John Tams from War Horse and Sharpe fame), Alpine Cajun punk trio Mama Rosin, dad and sister duo Martin Carthy & Eliza Carthy, Italian dance fusion act Nidi d'Arac; (Mon 26 Aug) Bellowhead's Spiers and Boden, bearded Aussie troupe The Spooky Men's Chorale, and new folk trio Tyde.

tyde
Folk trio Tyde

Phew.

But it's not just the music that has sealed Towersey's reputation, as there's also a hefty events programme for both adults and children, with films, craft and music workshops, dance, music, yoga, theatre, street performers, wandering musicians, storytelling, poetry, and plenty of fine food.

Regularly praised for being family friendly, there are over 100 events for the young, while a massive Céilidh dance marathon should help shed a few kilos for those who've indulged themselves in the well-stocked Real Ale and Cider bars and artisan food mart.

Towersey's 49 this year - hope I have that much energy when I'm that age...
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Why? One of the best festivals in the UK
When: Thursday 22 to Monday 26 August 2013
Phone: 023 8071 1818
Where: Towersey, Oxfordshire OX9
Cost: Camping £145-£55; non-camping £125-£55; day tickets £10-£40. NOTE Towersey/Thame residents can claim over 30% discount on certain tickets. See festival website for details.
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by David Vincent on 20/07/2017
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