Towersey Festival announces retirement of Steve and Lioux Heap

Steve Heap & Lioux Heap

Directors to step down in 2019 as festival continues to grow

Towersey Festival has announced that Steve Heap and Lioux Heap are to retire after the 2019 festival.

Steve first attended Towersey in 1966 (the second festival) as a performer, before going on to be a MC, PA engineer, steward’s coordinator, campsite manager, publicity and marketing assistant, and just about every other job involved in running a successful greenfield site festival.

In 1975, the year after co-founder Denis Manners retired, Steve became the director of Towersey, leading the festival through a period of unprecedented growth as the event grew from attracting 1,000 visitors to 8,000,  firmly establishing it as one of the largest and most successful annual events in the area, as well as major event in the UK’s festival calendar.

With 23 years as part of the Towersey team, Lioux initially joined the festival in 1996 as the Office Manager. She later covered several other roles including Box Office Manager, Artists’ Liaison, and Accreditation Manager. In 2016, Lioux created and produced the All About Children strand to great acclaim.

Their decision to step down follows several year’s internal preparation, which includes Joe Heap (Steve’s son) stepping into the role of Director.

Actively involved in the festival for over a decade, Joe has been officially helming Towersey since 2013 alongside Steve and Lioux. Leading a strong and dedicated team, he’s overseen both the hugely successful 50th anniversary celebrations as well as a site move.

Says Joe: “During Steve’s 45 years with Towersey the festival has grown tenfold and launched numerous careers. His commitment and dedication to Towersey, as well as his skill and knowledge, has driven huge changes and helped establish Towersey as a 21st century festival with exceptionally strong roots.

“On a personal note, he’s been my mentor and taught me so much about live events and the music industry as a whole.

“Lioux too has had an indelible role within the festival, particularly in shaping the administration structure and Box Office service, but more recently with our family-focused activities.

“I’d like to extend my, heartfelt thanks for all their years of work – often above and beyond the call of duty, and always with the love of Towersey at the centre of everything they do. They’ll be hugely missed, but will always be part of Towersey and its history.”

Situated 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.

The next festival runs from Friday 23 to Monday 26 August 2019 and features performances by The Selecter, Hothouse Flowers, The Unthanks, Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel, Fisherman’s Friends, Oysterband and a tribute to singer and activist Roy Bailey.

For further information about the festival, its rich heritage, and the latest edition, see:


For all media enquiries relating to Towersey Festival, please contact us: