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Towersey Festival announces ‘chart-topping’ 2016 line-up

Billy Bragg, The Wonder Stuff, Kate Rusby and Midge Ure are among the headline acts lined-up for the 52nd Towersey Festival (26-29 August 2016, Thame, Oxfordshire).

Singer-songwriter and author Billy Bragg

‘The Bard of Barking’, Bill Bragg

They’re joined by the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, Tom Robinson Band, Edward II, 9Bach, The Young’uns, Nizlopi and Nell Bryden, plus enduring Towersey favourites Roy Bailey, Rusty Shackle and Nancy Kerr and James Fagan.

Influenced by Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan and the DIY punk scene, Billy Bragg is one of the UK’s most respected songwriters, capable of penning both biting social commentary and tender love songs. Bragg last topped the Towersey bill in 2011.

The Wonder Stuff head to the festival as part of their 30th anniversary celebrations. Hailing from the West Midlands, the band scored a run of big-selling Top 40 hits in the early ‘90s including The Size Of A Cow, Circlesquare and the number one Dizzy. Fronted by Miles Hunt, ‘The Stuffies’ continue to release exuberant new music.

Hailed for her ‘unique contribution to music’, Yorkshire’s Kate Rusby was recipient of the prestigious British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors’ Gold Badge Award in 2014. In a career that’s seen her collaborate with artists as diverse as Ronan Keating, Paul Weller, Richard Thompson, Blur’s Graham Coxon and Radiohead’s Philip Selway, she’s remained true to her acoustic roots.

As a solo artist and band member, Midge Ure has contributed to a staggering number of hits. His career spans teen sensations Slik, Irish rockers Thin Lizzy, Sex Pistol’s spin-off The Rich Kids, new romantics Visage, and electronic pioneers Ultravox. He also co-wrote and produced Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas? Ure’s most recent album, Breathe Again, saw the musician revisit his Celtic roots, while the accompanying tour boasted such ‘greatest hits’ as If I Was, Vienna, No Regrets, Dancing With Tears In My Eyes and Fade To Grey.

BBC Radio 2 Folk Music Awards 2015 winners also feature strongly in the line-up, with The Young’uns (Best Group), Welsh act 9Bach (Best Album for Tincian), Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker (Best Duo), and Nancy Kerr ( Best Singer).

Towersey Festival Director Joe Heap said: “We’ve got a great mix of acts this year performing across six stages including at least four chart-toppers in Billy Bragg, The Wonder Stuff, Midge Ure and Nizlopi. There’s also some of the biggest names in acoustic and roots music, from the exceptional Kate Rusby to crowd-pleasing Ukulele Orchestra Of GB.”

Continuing to build on the improvements introduced for 2015’s festival, which saw several sell-out performances, Joe added: “We’re combining the best of what people tell us they love about the festival – from the big names and discovering new acts, to the artisan food and drink and friendly vibe – with exciting new elements, such as our Creative Quarter and workshop programme, which we’re expanding further for 2016.”

Tickets to the festival are on sale now with Adult Day tickets from £30, Youth £21, Child £14 and under 5s free.  Full festival tickets are £115-£57 (Tier 2). Camping available from £10. For further information and to book tickets, see:

Editor of LLR since 2005

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