Great performances and sell-out crowd for 2018’s Towersey Festival

The Shires' Crissie on the main Venue 65 stage at Towersey Festival 2018

Crissie from The Shires at Towersey Festival 2018 (c) D Freak

Revellers flock to enjoy appearances from The Proclaimers, The Shires and more.

The 54th Towersey Festival (Friday 24 to Monday 27 August 2018) saw a sell-out weekend of great performances and standing ovations.

Highlights over the August Bank Holiday included appearances from Scottish brothers The Proclaimers (Sat 25 Aug) and UK country stars The Shires (Mon 27 Aug), both making their debuts at the famed Oxfordshire festival, and guitarist/ songwriter Richard Thompson (Fri 24 Aug), returning with his Electric Trio.

Crowds were also wowed by five-piece Daphne’s Flight, who earned a standing ovation, and Cornish shanty singers Fisherman’s Friends, whose Jon Cleave also made an appearance for the festival’s Sunday morning newspaper review.

While away from the music, a switch to re-usable cups at bars was warmly welcomed by festival-goers, and was one of several changes introduced this year as part of a longstanding, and ongoing, commitment to reducing the environmental impact of the event.

The festival concluded with its traditional Lantern Parade, featuring inventive constructions designed and created by visitors, and a sing-a-long of The Beatles’ Hey Jude, led by folk rock band Blackbeard’s Tea Party.

In the region of 9,000 revellers flocked to the event, one of the oldest independent music festival’s in the country.

Towersey Festival Director Joe Heap said: “We’ve seen such an eclectic mix of artists this year, from the country pop of The Shires, to the UK’s number one brass band, Brighouse and Rastrick, to an acclaimed teaming of Peter Knight and John Spiers. We’ve also welcomed appearances by such established folk artists as the 82-year-old Roy Bailey, our Festival Patron who appeared at the very first Towersey back in 1965, to rising stars of the genre such as harpist Mera Royale, who won the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award this year, and Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne.”

The 55th Towersey Festival will run from Friday 23 to Monday 26 August 2019. Tier One tickets are on sale now, priced £119. The full line-up will be announced in the New Year. For details and tickets, see:

Charlie Reid of The Proclaimers at Towersey 2018 by Phil Sofer

Charlie from The Proclaimers at Towersey Festival 2018 (c) P Sofer

The festival has been greeted with acclaim by both artists and visitors. Here’s just a small selection of their comments …

“Towersey Festival, you have excelled yourself. What a crowd, what an atmosphere, what a place … a night that we will never forget.” – Fisherman’s Friends

“What a fab festival Towersey is. Loved playing there and such a warm welcome from everyone.” – Martyn Joseph

“No better way to close out the festival season” – Blair Dunlop

“A lovely feel good friendly festival” CC Smugglers

“Amazing” – HDC

“Even better than we anticipated” – Heather

“Blackbeard’s Tea Party put on an awesome show” – Becca

“What a great last day with Inlay, Lady Maisery, Paddington 2, Imar …” – Simon

“That was a bit of a special weekend” – Paul

“Thanks for putting this festival on every year” – Lindsay

“Brilliant atmosphere” – Colleen

Cleavie from Fisherman's Friends at Towersey 2018 by D Freak

Fisherman’s Friends (Jon Cleave), Towersey Festival 2018 by D Freak


Towersey Festival (24-27 August 2018) took place at Thame Showground, Thame, Oxfordshire.

The festival was established in 1965, making it Oxfordshire’s oldest music festival, and one of the oldest in the UK.

For more information, see:

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