Hothouse Flowers, Seth Lakeman, Steve Harley, and The Unthanks are among the acts headlining the
55th Towersey Festival.
The annual four-day folk and roots festival takes place from 23-26 August 2019, in Thame, Oxfordshire, and also boasts appearances from folk rock legends Oysterband, the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, Two-Tone heroes The Selecter, and shanty singers Fisherman’s Friends.
Former buskers, Hothouse Flowers hit the international stage when Dublin hosted the Eurovision Song Content in 1988. Since performing as an ‘interval act’, they’ve forged a reputation as a blistering live band, combining rock, soul and folk.
Steve Harley emerged from the London acoustic scene in the early 1970s and set the charts alight. A contemporary of Bowie and T.Rex, his hits include summer anthem Here Comes The Sun and the enduring Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me).
Five years from his last appearance at the festival, Seth Lakeman arrives in the wake of an acclaimed globe-trotting stint as part of Robert Plant’s Sensational Space Shifters. Expect to hear tracks from across the West Country musician’s career, including ninth album The Well Worn Path.
Remarkably, The Unthanks first ever live gig was at Towersey in 2004. Fifteen years on, and the Mercury Prize-nominated band have established themselves as one of contemporary music’s most inspiring, surprising and enquiring acts.
Also returning are Fisherman’s Friends. A huge success with audiences at 2018’s festival, the story of their incredible rise from Port Issac’s quayside to the UK album charts has now been turned into a film starring James Purefoy and Daniel Mays (in cinemas from 15 March 2019).
Others joining the line-up include Welsh/ African duo Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita, winners of the fRoots Album of the Year 2018 Critics Poll; Show Of Hands’ guitarist Steve Knightly; BBC Scots Trad Music Award 2018’s Best Live Act, Elephant Sessions; and representing an exciting new generation of British singer-songwriters, troubadours Beans On Toast and Will Varley.
Towersey Festival Director Joe Heap said: “After an amazing 2018, we’ve really set out to capture what people love so much about the festival.
“As a result, 2019 is one of our most exciting and eclectic line-ups, with some of the biggest names in folk and roots music, from Seth and The Unthanks to shanty superstars Fisherman’s Friends, alongside major musicians from across the British Isles, Africa, and North America. There’s also the usual collection of names, such as Beans On Toast, who may be new to Towersey audiences, but who we know they’ll love.
“There’ll be loads of other surprises too,” enthuses Joe, who adds that further announcements are to follow shortly, including details of Saturday night’s headliner and more information about the festival’s celebration of the life and work of musician, tutor, activist and Towersey Patron Roy Bailey, who sadly passed away in November.
Situated in easy reach of London and Birmingham, on the Oxfordshire/ Buckinghamshire border, and established in 1965, Towersey is one of the UK’s longest running independent music festivals. Boasting nine venues, alongside an extensive music programme the festival also features over 30 hours of ceilidh, daily workshops, well-stocked bars, street food, spoken word, film screenings, roaming performers, an acclaimed programme of activities for children and younger festival-goers, and more.
Tickets for Towersey Festival, which runs from Friday 23 to Monday 26 August 2019 at Thame Showground in Oxfordshire, are available now (Tier 2) from £129 (adult), £120 (conc), £90 (youth), £65 (child). For further information, and to book, see: www.towerseyfestival.com
Day-By-Day Listings (key acts only):
FRIDAY 23 AUGUST 2019
Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel
Beans On Toast
SATURDAY 24 AUGUST 2019
[HEADLINER TO BE ANNOUNCED]
Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita
Nancy Kerr and James Fagan
The Urban Folk Quartet
SUNDAY 25 AUGUST 2019
MONDAY 26 AUGUST 2019
A Tribute To Roy Bailey (Towersey Exclusive)
The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain
The Conservatoire Folk Ensemble (Festival Finale)
Sam Kelly and The Lost Boys
All About Children (activities for ages 5-11 year-olds)
Youth programme (12-18yrs)
Workshops | Sessions | Ceilidh & Dance
The Folk Club | Street Theatre
Storytelling and Spoken Word
Real Ale Bars | Street Food
For full-line up of all acts, see festival website: www.towerseyfestival.com
Weekend Tickets (4 days)
Tier 1: Sold Out.
Tier 2: Adult £129; Conc £120; Youth (12-17yrs) £90; Child (5-11yrs) £65; under 5s Free.
Tier 3: Adult £139; Conc £130; Youth (12-17yrs) £97; Child (5-11yrs) £65; under 5s Free
Tier 4: Adult £149; Conc £140; Youth (12-17yrs) £104; Child (5-11yrs) £65; under 5s Free
Day Tickets: Adult £46; Youth £32; Child £21; U5 Free.
Weekend camping and per-night camping options available.
No booking fees. Instalment Plan available. Car parking free.
Twitter: @towerseyfesti #Towersey2019
Box Office: 0115 807 7900