Festival History

Towersey Festival started as a one day village event back in 1965. Towersey at this time was a typical small country village, it had no playing field and a decaying Memorial Hall. It was from this that the first village festival developed.

A meeting was called to discuss the future of the Memorial Hall in 1965. It was decided that some immediate action was required to raise the funds to make the repairs that it greatly needed. A committee was formed and it was agreed that the usual village fete was not enough. What was needed was an event that would attract all the villagers, young and old. So, it was decided that this one day event would celebrate a thousand years of Towersey plus the many more to come.

This event was extremely popular and raised a great deal of money. The following year (1966), due to its popularity it became a three day event. From this a proposal was put forward to the Gomme family, who owned land in the village, to purchase one of their fields and to use it as a playing field. The proposal was agreed and the field was bought for £4,500, which at the time was equivalent to several years salary. There then followed much hard work and a great deal of fund-raising during which the committee got the field drained, ploughed and reseeded (at a cost of £10,000). The field now belongs to the village.

Since the first day of this event back in 1965, Towersey Festival has grown in size and popularity and has now established itself as one of the major arts & music festivals of the year, attracting viistors, musicians and entertainers from all over the world. A part of the surplus funds from these annual festivals have been ploughed back into the village to maintain and provide for many of the village facilities.

In 2014 we celebrated our 50th Festival, making us one of the oldest and most loved in the country and in 2015 the Festival moved to a site just 1mile from the Village on he edge of Thame, still very much in the rural heart of Oxfordshire.

Other funds from the event have been given to good causes in nearby communities and to the festival's own Charity The Friends of Towersey Festival (reg. Charity 299636) to further the education and careers of people in music, dance, song, theatre, arts and crafts.