FOLK-rock pioneer Richard Thompson will help celebrate the 50th anniversary of Oxfordshire's Towersey Festival by headlining this summer's event.

The founder member of Fairport Convention - and a man widely recognised as among the world's best guitarists - will join a line-up which also includes Seth Lakeman, Lau, Norma Waterson, Eliza Carthy and Martin Carthy, Michael McGoldrick, John McCusker, Georgia Ruth, Dick Gaughan, John Smith, Nancy Kerr and James Fagan. Also booked to grace the event's stages are The Urban Folk Quartet and tribute band The Bootleg Beatles, who’ll be headlining the opening night.

The five-day festival takes place in the village of the same name, close to Thame, from August 21-25.

The festival began life in 1965 as a means of funding renovations to the village hall. It grew from a one-day concert to a multi-day celebration of the arts, with an emphasis on acoustic and folk music.

Festival Director Joe Heap, whose grandfather helped found the event, said: "We’re very proud indeed to be celebrating Towersey Festival’s Golden Jubilee.

“The annual event has grown considerably since those early days, but it remains one of the most welcoming and friendly festivals in the UK.

“We’re looking forward to marking 50 years with some very special guests and announcements, and also welcoming friends both old and new.”

Tickets for the festival cost from £55-£120, with under fives getting in for free. Camping is also available. Day tickets cost from £10-£40.

For further information and to book tickets, call 023 8071 1818 or go to