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Page last updated at 11:19 GMT, Thursday, 27 August 2009 12:19 UK
Towersey Village Festival returns
By Simon Pipe
BBC Oxford

Steve Heap tells us what the 45th folk festival has to offer

The annual August bank holiday shindig at discreet Towersey, near Thame, is a major event in the national folk festival calendar.

It draws enthusiasts from all over to hear the top names on the folk circuit and dance (in various styles) to very exciting bands.

There's the colourful happenings aimed at locals who can get on to the festival showground for not much money.

It's also one of the busiest children's festivals on the national folk scene.

Apparently Towersey is also a festival of toilets. The organisers are very proud of their clean toilets and the excellent camping facilities - complete with cornershops selling fresh milk and papers. There is a great neighbourly spirit on the camp sites.

A weekend ticket for the concerts and dances will cost, but nowhere near as much as you'd pay for a ticket to Reading Festival.

There's an awful lot more to do at Towersey, including workshops that range from trying out various dance styles to making the willow sculptures that are lit up and paraded in the euphoric finale event.

Pack away your prejudices about folk: the late night dance house sessions attract a lot of teens and 20-somethings who want to thrash about into the small hours.

If you can't afford to pay, then you can offer to work your passage as a steward, which at a folk festival is usually a genial and enjoyable way to pass a few short hours.

For those who prefer the low-budget showground approach, it's a great day out, with an eclectic mix of dance, music and street-theatre performances in the open-air arena, a few performance spots around the "public" site, an extensive festival market, lots of quality food, and music sessions in a good-sized beer tent.



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