Towersey Festival

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Towersey Festival is one of the UK's major thriving folk arts festival.

The festival is held annually in the village of Towersey, Oxfordshire showcasing the world's finest folk, World music and traditional dance since 1965.


2012 line-up, rumours, news and our predictions

So far there have been numerous acts already confirmed for the August festival.

Bellowhead; Edward II; Kathryn Tickell; Donal Lunny, Padraig Rynne and Sylvain Barou; Martin Simpson Trio; Peatbog Faeries; Session A9; Esquisse; Roddy Woomble; Abigail Washburn; Nic Jones; Brass Monkey; Emily Barker and The Red Clay Halo; Roy Bailey; Old Man Luedecke; Alistair Anderson; Pilgrims Way; Jess and Richard Arrowsmith; Jake Jones and Dan Eccles; Irrintzi Dantza Taldea; Peeping Tom; Debs Newbold; John Kirkpatrick; Gavin Davenport; O Hooley and Tidow; Merry Hell; The Ian McMillan Orchestra; Jon Boden; Whapweasel; The Melrose Quartet; Walsh and Pound; Old Swan Band; Nancy Kerr and James Fagan; Jamie Smiths Mabon; Hekety - The Ceilidh; Jez Lowe; have all been announced with many more acts to follow.

WikiFestivals will have further details on the 2012 line-up soon.

2011 Line-up and past line-up highlights:

Oysterband, Billy Bragg, Home Service, Cara Dillon, The Burns Unit featuring Karine Polwart, Emma Pollock and King Creosote, The Spooky Men's Chorale, Spiers & Boden, Lau, 17 Hippies, The Demon Barbers, Karine Polwart, for more details on the 2011 line-up click here.

For more information on past line-ups, click here.


Towersey Festival has very relaxed, friendly vibe as well as being a great place for families.

History and facts

Towersey has developed in the last few years from a very folky event into a more eclectic festival with a fair amount of World and broader acoustic music, singer songwriters stage, poetry, street theatre etc.

On average the festival attracts around 10,000 revellers but in 2004 the festival reached it's highest ever attendance. This was due to the festival celebrating it's 40th birthday. This increase in attendance forced the festival organisers to open a third camp site for the first time in the festivals' history.

Supposedly there is a tradition where a lot of men dress up as women on the last night. This came about in 1990 when a hen party lacked in the number of women, so the bride agreed that men could come if they dressed up appropriately.

Music stages and other entertainment

There are 3 stages are spread across the festival site that will feature dance displays, music, comedy, magic, puppetry, clowning and storytelling.

Other entertainment consists of musical and comic walkabouts wandering around the festival with stiltwalkers, jugglers and street theatre throughout the weekend. Plus activities from Yoga to Bop Around, through hands on Workshop learning to Concerts, Ceilidhs, Club Sessions.

There is also a small festival within Towersey Festival for children and teenagers/young adults called Children's Festival and Shooting Roots for Youth, offering a variety of activities and shows from them.

On site information

Noise Volumes:

The noise volumes can get loud the closer you are to a stage, so it's advised to take ear plugs in case you stand near a speaker or close to a stage.


The festival is held at the end August where the weather can be predictably unpredictable. Some years the weather is sunny and hot or wet and cold, so it's best to check the weather forecast before going. Summer clothing would be best but remember to also pack warm and waterproof clothing if the weather turns for worst.

Festival Times:

Towersey Festival 2012 will runs from the 23rd August to 27th August.

Gate opening times information will follow soon.


There is no smoking inside the venues, however smoking is allowed in any outdoor area.

Cash Machines:

There were no on-site cash machines in 2016 and no indication that this will change for 2017. There are no cash machines in Towersey village - instead head towards Thame about a mile away.

Merchandise & Programmes:

There are a number of stalls located around the festival site selling Towersey Festival and act's merchandise and programmes.

Bringing Your Own Alcohol:

Festival goers are allowed to bring their own alcohol but in moderate volume into the camp site. However it is prohibited to bring any into the festival arena.

General bins and Recycling bins:

There are plenty of general and recycling bins located around the festival site.


Toilets are placed at various locations around the edge of the festival site.

There are also toilets, showers and water points located at various points in the camp site.

Food and drink

Towersey Festival pride themselves in offering in the best, new and fresh food and drink.

There are numerous food stalls serving food from stone baked pizzas, Mexican, full English breakfasts to ice cream and real fruit smoothies.

FestivAles is the festival's long term bar partner who ensure to bring the best beers and ciders such as Hook Norton, Western’s Old Rosie cider, Grumpling Premium, VPA and Stowford Press Cider. Soft drinks are also available.

Drugs at the festival

Drugs are strictly prohibited from the festival. Anyone found with or using illegal drugs will be removed from the event and the police would be informed.

Camping and other accommodation

Towersey Festival has 3 camp sites available for festival goers to stay in.

Site 1:

Site 1 is just tents and people, families, annual get togethers and reunions. It's for those who want to enjoy a family site without cars or caravans. Site 1 becomes quiet soon after the final event finishes so is great if you want a good nights sleep. Tents are pitched between two venues so you are close to the action. You can bring your car on to unload camping equipment, but then you have to take it off and park it in the specially designated FREE car park for Site 1 campers. Cars can come back on after 2pm on the last day to collect camping equipment.

Site 2:

Site 2 is the main camp site (or at least the biggest). If you want your car close by, lots of space for huge groups or you just want to get some peace away from the venues then this site is perfect. Its a great Family site where cars, caravans and tents are together. Site 2 is only a short walk away from Site 1.

Site 3:

Site 3 is for those who want to enjoy later nights and lie-ins in the morning. You can still have your cars next to you, and caravans and tents are all welcome. The sounds of live acoustic music with reasonable consideration to neighbours is welcome but Site 3 does become quiet no later than 2am and is still only short walk from Site 1.

If people do not want to camp or stay within the festival site, Towersey has a number of hotels and bed 'n' breakfasts close by.

Location and travel

Towersey is in Oxforshire and is near Thame, about 15 miles east of Oxford.

By Car

The Festival Site address for satnavs is Towersey Playing Field, Thame Road, Towersey, Oxon, OX9 3QF.

People travelling via a car could use the A418 from Aylesbury, the A40 & A418 from Oxford or the M40. If you are travelling from the north Junction 8a is best and If you are travelling from the south Junction 5 is best.

As you approach Towersey you will pick up yellow directions signs for "Towersey Festiva". Please follow the signs directing you to the FREE Festival car park. If you are coming from Chinnor or the M40 please come round the Thame by-pass and not through the village.

If you do get a lost there is a number to call to help direct you to the festival - 01629 827016.

People can plan their journey with AA Route Finder.

By Coach

National Express and Megabus have routes that travel to Towersey or within close proximity.

Local Buses

There is a bus stop in Thame (1.2 miles from Towersey) for buses from Aylesbury and Oxford. The Festival Bus (London Routemaster) will be running between Towersey and Thame and various points over the weekend.

By Train

The nearest railway stations are Princes Risborough or Haddenham & Thame Parkway on the London Marylebone line to Birmingham.

The Trainline can help festival goers plan their trip.

By Plane

The closest airport to Towersey Festival is Heathrow International Airport which is about 50 minutes away and Birmingham International Airport which is about 1 hour 20 mins away.

Festival contact and ticket information

Ticket prices:

Tickets Prices:

Non Camping:

  • Adult Season - £104 (Until 31 May, then £119)
  • Adult Concession Season - £98 (Until 31 May)
  • Youth Season - £72 (Until 31 May, then £83)
  • Child Season - £51 (Until 31 May, then £58)

With Camping:

  • Adult Season - £124 (Until 31 May, then £139)
  • Adult Concession Season - £118 (Until 31 May)
  • Youth Season - £82 (Until 31 May, then £93)
  • Child Season - £51 (Until 31 May, then £58)

  • Under 5's FREE

Call the Box Office on 01629 827016 for tickets (there is a £4 booking fee charge per booking).