Music festival targets meningitis awareness

Music fans heading to the popular Towersey Festival in Thame, Oxfordshire over the summer bank holiday weekend will be made aware of the dangers of meningitis as they enjoy the family friendly event.

Volunteers will be out in force to distribute thousands of our signs and symptoms cards to festival goers, to help them take the first step in protecting themselves and their loved ones.

The idea is the brainwave of our community ambassador and festival regular Ian Watkinson, who lost his baby grandson, Charlie, to meningitis four years ago.

Following a successful campaign to hand out cards at this year’s Shepley Spring Festival in West Yorkshire, which is local to Ian, he has secured the support of Towersey Festival to repeat the awareness opportunity.

Vital health awareness message

“We’re really grateful to everyone at Towersey for their support. This is a great way to help spread the word and get this vital health awareness message out to the thousands of people who will be at the festival,” says Ian.

The charity’s credit card sized signs and symptoms cards will be available at strategic locations around the site over the festival weekend.

“I know only too well how cruel this disease can be and I don’t want others to go through what I and my family have. It’s vital that everybody recognises the signs and symptoms and knows what action to take if they suspect meningitis,” adds Ian.

No-one recognised the symptoms

Ian’s baby grandson Charlie died from meningitis at just 15-weeks-old in 2010.

“When Charlie was taken ill, no-one recognised the symptoms. By the time he was seen by the local hospital, the damage was done. He was taken to the specialist unit at Alder Hey, but it was too late. He died in his parents’ arms a few days later,” Ian explains.

Towersey Festival, which takes place between Friday 28 and Monday 31 August is one of the longest running independent music festivals in the UK. Among the headline acts attending this year are legendary singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading and Bellowhead, who will be making their final ever music festival appearance. For full details visit

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