Towersey Festival announces ‘chart-topping’ 2016 line-up

Towersey Festival 26-29 Aug 2016

– Famed long-running Oxfordshire music festival returns with appearances from four chart-toppers and much more.

Billy Bragg, The Wonder Stuff, Kate Rusby and Midge Ure are among the headline acts lined-up for the 52nd Towersey Festival (26-29 August 2016, Thame, Oxfordshire).

Singer-songwriter and author Billy Bragg

‘The Bard of Barking’, Bill Bragg

They’re joined by the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, Tom Robinson Band, Edward II, 9Bach, The Young’uns, Nizlopi and Nell Bryden, plus enduring Towersey favourites Roy Bailey, Rusty Shackle and Nancy Kerr and James Fagan.

Influenced by Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan and the DIY punk scene, Billy Bragg is one of the UK’s most respected songwriters, capable of penning both biting social commentary and tender love songs. Bragg last topped the Towersey bill in 2011.

The Wonder Stuff head to the festival as part of their 30th anniversary celebrations. Hailing from the West Midlands, the band scored a run of big-selling Top 40 hits in the early ‘90s including The Size Of A Cow, Circlesquare and the number one Dizzy. Fronted by Miles Hunt, ‘The Stuffies’ continue to release exuberant new music.

Hailed for her ‘unique contribution to music’, Yorkshire’s Kate Rusby was recipient of the prestigious British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors’ Gold Badge Award in 2014. In a career that’s seen her collaborate with artists as diverse as Ronan Keating, Paul Weller, Richard Thompson, Blur’s Graham Coxon and Radiohead’s Philip Selway, she’s remained true to her acoustic roots.

As a solo artist and band member, Midge Ure has contributed to a staggering number of hits. His career spans teen sensations Slik, Irish rockers Thin Lizzy, Sex Pistol’s spin-off The Rich Kids, new romantics Visage, and electronic pioneers Ultravox. He also co-wrote and produced Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas? Ure’s most recent album, Breathe Again, saw the musician revisit his Celtic roots, while the accompanying tour boasted such ‘greatest hits’ as If I Was, Vienna, No Regrets, Dancing With Tears In My Eyes and Fade To Grey.

BBC Radio 2 Folk Music Awards 2015 winners also feature strongly in the line-up, with The Young’uns (Best Group), Welsh act 9Bach (Best Album for Tincian), Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker (Best Duo), and Nancy Kerr ( Best Singer).

Towersey Festival Director Joe Heap said: “We’ve got a great mix of acts this year performing across six stages including at least four chart-toppers in Billy Bragg, The Wonder Stuff, Midge Ure and Nizlopi. There’s also some of the biggest names in acoustic and roots music, from the exceptional Kate Rusby to crowd-pleasing Ukulele Orchestra Of GB.”

Continuing to build on the improvements introduced for 2015’s festival, which saw several sell-out performances, Joe added: “We’re combining the best of what people tell us they love about the festival – from the big names and discovering new acts, to the artisan food and drink and friendly vibe – with exciting new elements, such as our Creative Quarter and workshop programme, which we’re expanding further for 2016.”

Tickets to the festival are on sale now with Adult Day tickets from £30, Youth £21, Child £14 and under 5s free.  Full festival tickets are £115-£57 (Tier 2). Camping available from £10. For further information and to book tickets, see:


Friday 26 to Monday 29 August 2016
The Thame Showground, Kingsey Road, Thame, Oxfordshire OX9 3JL


Full ‘Weekend’ Tickets (4 days)
Tier 1: [SOLD OUT]
Tier 2: Adult £115; Conc £110; Youth £81; Child £57; U5 free.
Tier 3: Adult £126; Conc £110; Youth £88; Child £57; U5 free.
Tier 4: Adult £136; Conc £115; Youth £99; Child £57; U5 free.
Camping £25 per Adult and Youth. Children free

Day Tickets:
Fri / Sat / Sun – Adult £40, Youth £28, Child £18, U5 free; Mon – Adult £30, Youth £21, Child £14, U5 free.
Camping £10 per person, per night.

No booking fees.

Car Parking: Free.
Bookings: 01629 827016
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. Telephone Box Office open Mon-Fri 10am-4.30pm.


Kate Rusby

Friday 26 August 2016:
Billy Bragg
Kate Rusby
Rusty Shackle
Steve Tilston & Jez Lowe

Saturday 27 August 2016:
The Wonder Stuff
Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain
Edward II
Kris Drever & Ian Carr
Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker
Damien O’Kane

Midge Ure, Breathe Again

Midge Ure

Sunday 28 August 2016:
Midge Ure
Tom Robinson Band
Nell Bryden
Andy Kershaw
Bob Fox

Monday 29 August 2016:
Conservatoire Folk Ensemble
The Young’Uns
Roy Bailey
Rory McLeod



Towersey Festival appeals to a wide audience and is popular with all generations; in many cases, three generations of a family will be in attendance.

Established in 1965, it’s one of the UK’s longest-running independent music festivals.

In 2015, Towersey Festival celebrated its 51th anniversary with sell-out appearances from Joan Armatrading and Bellowhead. Around 8,000 people attended the festival.

Towersey Festival has a first class reputation as a destination for camping and caravanning.

While music forms the core of the festival, the event also encompasses workshops, dance, film, spoken word, and a Real Ale Festival.

Four chart-toppers:

  • Billy Bragg spent four weeks at No1 in the UK singles charts in 1988 with charity single She’s Leaving Home, a double-A-side with Wet Wet Wet’s With A Little Help From My Friends. The charity single was in aid of Childline.
  • Nizlopi’s JCB Song was No1 in December 2005. It entered the charts at the top spot.
  • Midge Ure scored a solo No1 in 1985 with If I Was. Ultravox’s Vienna only made No2 in 1981. Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas? first topped the charts in 1984.
  • The Wonder Stuff teamed up with comedian Vic Reeves to claim the No1 spot with Dizzy in 1991 (a cover of the 1969 chart-topper by Tommy Roe).

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REF: TF16 PR01