History of Towersey Festival

Towersey Festival from the air in 1967Towersey Village Festival which is now a grand affair attracting visitors from all over the world 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 which 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. Towersey Festival started life as a one day event.

This event was extremely popular and raised a great deal of money that was desperately needed. 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 a lot of money. Since then much hard work and a great deal of fund raising meant the committee got the field drained, ploughed and re-seeded (at a cost of £10,000). The field now belongs to the village.

Since the first day of this event back in 1965, Towersey Village Festival has grown in size and popularity and has now established itself as one of the major international folk festivals of the year attracting visitors, musicians and entertainers from all over the world. A part of the profits from these annual festivals are generously ploughed back into the village to maintain and provide for many of the village facilities. Towersey Village Festival celebrated its 50th birthday in 2014!

The festival has now moved site to the Thame Showground just outside Towersey.