I ARRIVED at Thame Showground this bank holiday weekend expecting a great time at Towersey Festival and as with previous years, I wasn’t disappointed, writes Eleanor Launchbury.

The festival, in its 55th year, basked in the sun and was another hugely successful weekend.

Around 8,000 revellers and myself enjoyed watching performers in each of the tents, whilst also wandering the many stalls dotted about. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who spent a small fortune on the gorgeous clothes and accessories that were being sold!

A personal weekend highlight for me was the ukulele aspect of the festival. Each morning, a group of early birds at the Ukulele Workshop welcomed the start of the day with the sound of U2 and George Ezra. We were shown how the professionals do it on Monday evening, when The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain played. The group (who performed at the Queen’s private 90th birthday celebrations in 2016) led the audience in several sing-along tunes, including Highway to Hell and Sweet Dreams.

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Among the great performers were Barnsley based band, Frumptarn Guggenband, who packed the tent at each of their performances. They dazzled audiences with their colourful clothing and elaborate face paint, while playing a variety of popular songs in a joyous blend of brass and percussion instruments. The tent was filled with clapping hands and stamping feet and it seemed the audience couldn’t take their eyes off this spectacle.

Towersey charms with big names and a tribute to a true folk legend

Dance group Folk Friendzy showcased the talent of younger performers and demonstrated traditional dances, set to modern tunes. This dance troupe had the ‘aww’ factor as well, with two of the younger members being only five and seven years old.

It was encouraging to see the younger generation taking centre stage performances throughout the weekend. Steve Knightley, member of the folk duo Show of Hands, briefly invited his 15-year old daughter on stage during his set on Sunday and accompanied her as she sang. It drove home the idea that this is a true family festival and I’m sure this weekend has inspired many youngsters to pick up a new instrument or pair of clogs and start performing.