Towersey Adds New Comedy and Comment Programme

Gavin Osborne

Towersey Festival, the UK’s oldest, independent music festival has announced a brand new programme of comedy, word and song for its 60th anniversary celebration, taking place from 23-26 August at Buckinghamshire’s Claydon Estate. This new ‘Comment and Comedy’ offering is curated by singer, writer and all-round creative, Gavin Osborn.  With comedy for families and grown-ups straight from Edinburgh Fringe, award-winning short films as well as fiction and non-fiction authors with remarkable tales to tell, Comment and Comedy promises to bring a whole new flavour to this milestone edition of Towersey.

Curator, Osborn said: “Towersey retains a very unique and special place in my heart. It’s a place bursting with creativity and freedom of expression and coming back here every year always feels like coming home, being amongst family. To be invited to curate a stage is an honour and I’ve absolutely loved putting together this line-up.”

In keeping with the festival ethos, Osborn has created an inclusive programme without pandering to the mainstream. The folk tradition of storytelling is that of familiar tales told in a new way, and Comment and Comedy will have that in abundance with appearances from Ukrainian activist Maria Romanenko recalling her first-hand account of How Not To Flee A War, and Matt Tiller telling the extraordinary true tale of Jack Leslie, the first black football player to be picked to play for England.

There’s comedy for families including the anarchic Ask The Nincompoops with Mr Gum author Andy Stanton, and fellow podcaster Carrie Quinlan. And comedy for grown-ups with comedian writer and broadcaster Robin Ince headlining the programme with his new stand-up show, straight from Edinburgh festival.

Also on the lineup is Steve Hall, fresh from his tour supporting Russell Howard, long-standing Liverpool comic Paul ‘Silky’ White who incorporates live guitar and drums into his sets, and Howard Read with his cartoon sidekick Little Howard. Contradicting capitalism since 1985, prolific songwriter Robb Johnson will also appear having resonated with curator Gavin Osborn at a previous edition of Towersey for his political and poignant lyrics.

Across the site, festival goers can also enjoy award-winning short-films and extraordinary tales from fiction and non-fiction authors, including Roxanne de Bastion’s true story of music, survival and hope, after discovering her grandfather’s old piano.

For 60 years, Towersey Festival has maintained an intimate feel, but now boasts 10 stages and attracts 5,000 visitors each year.

Previously announced, the 60th anniversary music line-up includes legendary folk-rock singer-songwriters Billy Bragg and Seth Lakeman, harmonious female folk outfit The Staves, Scottish folk rockers Tide Lines and American singer-songwriter Pokey Lafarge. Other highlights of the eclectic line-up include a career-spanning set from the godfathers of punk folk Oysterband, Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music favourites The Hawkmen and Paul Simon’s iconic Graceland reimagined by the London African Gospel Choir. Plus, over 40 more musical acts across the four days as well as opportunities for buskers and open mic spots.

Alongside the bands, Towersey will include its much-loved events and activities, including 48 hours of Ceilidh (think barn dancing meets line dancing meets Irish dance!), festival choirs, dance classes, silent discos, circus skills, storytelling, children’s entertainers and crafts, Woodland Classroom, and much, much more, plus a huge variety of food and drink outlets.

Weekend and day tickets start from £65 and £202, respectively, for adults, and £30 and £72 for ages 5-17 years, while