A series of outstanding performances, emotional celebrations, and record-breaking temperatures ensured the 55th Towersey Festival (Friday 23 to Monday 26 August 2019) was another huge success.
Highlights over the Bank Holiday weekend included appearances by soulful Dubliners Hothouse Flowers and 2-Tone legends The Selecter (Sunday), whose energetic appearance had the entire crowd on their feet.
Troubadour Newton Faulkner, and BBC Radio 2 Folk Award 2019 nominated Welsh/ African duo Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita (Sat) were other notable stand-outs.
Monday afternoon saw an emotional celebration of the life and career of the late folk singer, activist and Towersey Patron Roy Bailey, who passed away in November. Having appeared at the very first Towersey in 1965, Roy’s regular afternoon shows were much-loved feature of the festival for many years. Among those paying tribute during a moving two-hour show were friends, family and colleagues, including his son-in-law guitarist Martin Simpson, and broadcaster and musician Tom Robinson.
The festival also marked the official retirement of Towersey Director Steve Heap; Steve attended the second festival before taking over the reins in 1975.
In the region of 8,000 revellers attended the four-day event in Oxfordshire, which also witnessed record-breaking Bank Holiday temperatures, hitting highs of 30 degrees.
Towersey Festival Director Joe Heap said: “We saw some incredible performances this year across our many stages. The first ever silent ceilidh, in particular, on Saturday (24 Aug 2019), was an absolute triumph and the talk of the festival.
“But the Roy Bailey concert was something quite special. The Big Club tent was filled to capacity, and we had many more outside to see people like Martin, Tom, Andy Cutting, The Wilson Family, John Kirkpatrick, and other major folk/ roots musicians. They all performed songs from Roy’s incredible back-catalogue, and recounted stories about him – there was barely a dry eye, it was very very moving, as Roy was so associated with us. An afternoon few will forget.
Discussing four uninterrupted days of hot sunny weather, Joe said: “We had plenty of taps, and everyone stayed well hydrated all over the site.”
The 56th Towerey Festival will run from Friday 28 to Monday 31 August 2020. Advance tickets are available now, with the full line-up to be announced in the New Year. For more details, see: www.towerseyfestival.com
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