Double celebration for Towersey

  • Festival celebrates 50th birthday with special 75 Years Of Topic Records concert
Martin Carthy and daughter Eliza celebrate Topic Records' 75th anniversary at Towersey Festival 50.

TOPIC 75 at TOWERSEY 50: Eliza Carthy and Martin Carthy

The world’s oldest truly independent record label and one of the UK’s longest-running music festivals are teaming up for a double celebration.

As part of the 50th Towersey Festival (21-25 August 2014), a unique concert marks 75 years of Topic Records.

Hosted by Norma Waterson, Eliza Carthy and The Gift Band, the performance celebrates Topic’s impressive catalogue with appearances from a diverse range of musicians inspired by this unique record company, as well as those signed to it, including Lau, Fay Hield, Martin Carthy, Saul Rose, Blair Dunlop and Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker. They’ll perform songs previously recorded for the label by Anne Briggs, Louis Killen, Shirley Collins, Nic Jones and others.

Towersey Festival Director Joe Heap said: “We are thrilled to be able to stage this very special concert as part of Towersey Festival’s Golden Jubilee.

“Topic has been such an incredible influence on generations of people, and this one-off performance is a unique opportunity to see many great contemporary musicians play tribute to the label’s continued legacy.”

Topic Records’ Business Manager David Suff said: “Towersey is one of the great British summer festivals and we’re honoured to celebrate Topic’s 75th anniversary during Towersey’s 50th celebrations.

“Topic, together with musical director and multi-award winning artist Eliza Carthy, is programming a very special one-off concert at the festival where some of the country’s brightest younger performers – some signed to Topic, some not – will be re-visiting songs from the classic Topic repertoire. It’s going to be a very special double-celebration for festival-goers.”

Musical Director Eliza Carthy, whose family has been connected to Topic since 1960s, said: “Me and my family have long been associated with Towersey Festival and Topic Records and I have great affection for both. Towersey gave me my first ever solo gig, as Topic gave me my first ever solo record, and one of the most memorable gigs of my life; a Chipolata 5 gig so full and rowdy that they had to take the sides of the marquee down.

“I’m thrilled to have been invited to host an event which celebrates Topic’s wide and wonderful catalogue, in the company of some up and coming artists who have obviously been as inspired and influenced by it as I have.”

Formed in 1939, Topic Records has continued to document and shape musical tastes with seminal releases by such influential artists as Martin Carthy, The Waterson Family, June Tabor, John Tams, Dick Gaughan, Nic Jones, Martin Simpson, Eliza Carthy, The Copper Family, Shirley Collins, Ewan MacColl, A.L. Lloyd, and many more.

Its catalogue of contemporary folk music continues to grow with recent releases including Linda Thompson’s critically acclaimed Won’t Be Long Now and the award-winning Full English. Forthcoming releases include a new duo album, The Moral of the Elephant, from Martin Carthy and Eliza Carthy, as well as further additions to the acclaimed Voice of the People CD series.

Towersey Festival debuted in the summer of 1965. Now one of the longest running independent music festivals in the UK, its 50th festival runs from Thursday 21 to Monday 25 August 2014 and features performances by Richard Thompson, Seth Lakeman, Lau, The Bootleg Beatles and many others.  The special 75 Years Of Topic concert takes place on Saturday (23 August 2014).

Towersey Early-Bird Weekend Season Tickets (until 31 May 2014) cost from £120 (adult)/ £105 (conc)/ £84 (12-17yrs)/ £55 (5-11yrs) with under-5s free. Camping also available. Day tickets £40-£20 (adult).

All tickets are available from 023 8071 1818 or see for further information.


Thursday 21 August to Monday 25 August 2014

Towersey Festival

Various venues, Towersey, Oxfordshire OX9 3QF

Thursday 21 August 2014

  • The Bootleg Beatles

Friday 22 August 2014

  • Richard Thompson
  • Dick Gaughan
  • Nancy Kerr and James Fagan
  • Blair Dunlop
  • The Melrose Quartet
  • Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker
  • Merry Hell

Saturday 23 August 2014

  • Seth Lakeman
  • 75 Years of Topic Records – Norma Waterson, Eliza Carthy with The Gift Band and very special guests
  • Lau
  • Georgia Ruth
  • Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker
  • Nancy Kerr and James Fagan
  • Sheryl and Russell Cormier with The Flatville Aces
  • Ashley Hutchings
  • Whapweasel
  • Will McNicol
  • Folk Dance Remixed

Sunday 24 August 2014

  • The Chipolatas (Takeover Night)
  • The Urban Folk Quartet
  • Dan Walsh
  • Nancy Kerr and The Sweet Visitor Band
  • Rusty Shackle
  • Sheryl and Russell Cormier with The Flatville Aces
  • The Wilson Family
  • Will McNicol
  • Folk Dance Remixed

Monday 23 August 2014

  • Michael McGoldrick and John McCusker
  • John Smith
  • Nancy Kerr and James Fagan
  • Roy Bailey
  • The Wilson Family
  • Conservatoire Folk Ensemble
  • Folk Dance Remixed
  • Jess and Richard Arrowsmith

Key acts, day-by-day. For full, detailed listings of all acts appearing (plus associated spoken word, film, workshop theatre, circus and performance programmes), see festival website.


Until 31 May 2014:
Weekend Season (non camping): £120 adult; £105 concession; £84 youth; £55 child; free under 5s.
Weekend Season (with camping): £145 adult; £130 concession; £109 youth; £55 child; free under 5s.
Day Tickets (Fri) £30 adult; £20 youth; £10 child; free under 5s; (Sat/Sun/Mon): £40 adult; £30 youth; £20 child; free under 5s.

From 1 June 2014:
Weekend Season (non camping): £135 adult; £105 concession; £95 youth; £55 child; free under 5s.
Weekend Season (with camping): £160 adult; £130 concession; £120 youth; £55 child; free under 5s.
Day Tickets (Fri) £30 adult; £20 youth; £10 child; free under 5s; (Sat/Sun/Mon): £40 adult; £30 youth; £20 child; free under 5s.

Showground day tickets (only available on the gate): £8 adult; £3 concessions; under 5s free.
Camel Camp: luxury Camel Camp Touareg tents also available for up to 6 people. See website for details.
Discounts: Buy 10 Adult Full Weekend Season tickets for the Price of 9.
Car Parking: Free.

Bookings:            023 8071 1818
Twitter:               @towerseyfesti
Facebook:           Towerseyfestival

NB: Concession = students, Job Seekers and those 60+.  Proof of status must be shown on ticket collection. Youth = 12-17 yrs inclusive. Child = 5 -11 yrs inclusive. Under 5 = FREE. Car Parking free (space permitting).

Towersey and Thame Residents: Special price full festival tickets are available to residents of Thame and Towersey. Please call 01629 827016 for discount details. This offer is only available by phone.

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