Towersey reveals 2019 festival line-up

Towersey 2019 - Steve Harley, Seth Lakeman, The Unthanks, The Selecter

Hothouse Flowers, Seth Lakeman, Steve Harley and The Unthanks set for iconic folk and roots festival

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 Cornish 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 Isaac’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:


Friday 23 to Monday 26 August 2019
Towersey Festival
The Thame Showground, Kingsey Road, Thame, Oxfordshire OX9 3JL

Towersey 2019 - Fisherman's Friends, Nancy and James, Beans On Toast, Steve Knightley

Towersey 2019 – Fisherman’s Friends, Nancy and James, Beans On Toast, Steve Knightley


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
Facebook: TowerseyFestival
Instagram: towerseyfestival2019

Box Office: 0115 807 7900

Day-By-Day listings (key acts only)

Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel
The Unthanks
Fisherman’s Friends
Beans On Toast
Chris Helme
Luke Daniels

Will Varley
Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita
Rusty Shackle
Nancy Kerr and James Fagan
The Urban Folk Quartet

Hothouse Flowers
Seth Lakeman
The Selecter
Steve Knightly
Elephant Sessions

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)
Ceilidh & Dance
The Folk Club
Street Theatre
Storytelling and Spoken Word
Film Screenings
Real Ale Bars
Street Food
Market Stalls

For full-line up of all acts, see festival website:


For all media/ press enquiries relating to Towersey Festival 2019 – including interview and image requests, and review tickets – contact us using the form below. Please note that review tickets are limited and will not be confirmed until closer to the festival.