Who are we?

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Who are we?

Discover another lovelier world. Where three generations can party together, where people still talk to each other. A place you can wear whatever you want, sing your heart out, play like a child and dance like no-one’s watching.

Towersey Festival is the longest running independent festival in the country and it really is a family affair. First organised by Denis Manners in his back garden in 1965, it has been handed down the generations with his grandson Joe in place as the current Festival Director.

Today Towersey Festival is still an authentic independent festival with an amazing community spirit. It’s about family, folk, music and arts. It's an exciting, inspiring, relaxing and homely place where you can see a line-up of top musicians and artists as well as discover new music, learn new skills and experience new things. It’s a festival for everyone, from small kids to grandparents, a place you can create family memories together. And from the moment you arrive you will feel part of the bigger Towersey family.

Our site is safe and practical but inspiring and creative, providing the perfect playground to make your Towersey memories. During the weekend there are 100’s of events programmed from large gigs and big stages down to a handful of people in a storytelling session; vibrant dances, street theatre and workshops where you can pick up a new skill.  There is so much to discover you never know what you might stumble across as the day unfolds. 

Towersey will always be a folk and roots festival with one foot firmly in our proud history and foundations and one excitedly in the future of festivals and music.

We aim to bring you an experience which will live with you forever, provide you with life-long friends and ensure there is nowhere else in the world you would rather be on the August Bank Holiday!

Meet the team

Joe Heap - Festival Director
I have been to almost every Towersey of my 43 years on this planet (missing perhaps 2). I was born into to it and have done every job you can imagine.  Litter picker, tent erector, venue manager, MC, tech, Trade Manager, Programmer and Festival Director.  It’s in the blood.
Favourite biscuit?  Dark Choc Digestive (must be dark!
Karaoke song?  Twist and Shout – Vocal shredder style…inspired by Ferris Bueller
Best artist you’ve seen at Towersey  OOOOO. That’s a hard one.  Too many great gigs to choose from.  
Fun Fact: I am the most disorganised organiser; that’s why I surround myself with organised people.  I think it comes from being a juggler.  Always lots of balls in the air!

Steve Heap - Production Manager
Favourite biscuit? Custard creams
What is your karaoke song? We are the champions   queen
Favourite board game? Othello
Favourite holiday destination? English lake district in particular Keswick
Favourite artist you've seen at Towersey? Original line up of Home service ( first named the First 11) Fav artist never seen at Towersey  -Chris Smither. 
Fun Fact: Working with Paul Gleeson at Towersey many years ago trying to release the valve on a water tower with wet consequences.

Lioux Heap - All About Children Production Manager plus all things Trade, Catering, Volunteers and Box Office.
Favourite biscuit?  Ginger Nut
Favourite board game?  Chinese Chequers
Favourite holiday destination?  India so far
Best artist you’ve seen at Towersey:  The Commitments
Fun Fact: I’ve been at the helm of a Moody 38 in a force 8-9 gale

Suzanne - Marketing Manager
Making sure you're kept up to date with all the latest Towersey Festival news.
Favourite biscuit?  Dark chocolate digestive
Karaoke Song? Nope - nobody needs to hear me singing!
Favourite board game?  Bananagrams
Favourite holiday destination?  Wherever is next ......
Fun Fact: I’m a backpacker at heart, always planning the next new place to explore

Kathy - The Creative One
I’m responsible for what we call the ‘overlay’. It’s the decorative side of building the festival. Flags, bunting, signs, venue dressing, stages and much more. This year I am also launching the new AUGUST EMPORIUM, a fun, on-site dressing up store. 
Favourite biscuit? All and any. I LOVE biscuits.
What is your karaoke song? ‘Can’t fight the moonlight’ Leann Rimes.
Favourite holiday destination? Marrakesh 
Best artist I've seen at Towersey apart from the wonderful Roy Bailey. Whapweasel. 
Fun Fact: I love baking and bake onsite at Towersey. It’s a challenge in a caravan but I can’t leave baking behind, even for the fun of Towersey. 

Claire Heap  - Artist Liaison
Looks after all our fabulous artists from contract stage through to ensuring they are well looked after on site.
Favourite biscuit?  Dark Chocolate HobNob
What is your karaoke song?  Don’t  Call Me Baby – Voice of the Beehive
Favourite board game?  Monopoly
Favourite holiday destination?  New York
Best artist I've seen at Towersey:  Wonderstuff or Seth Lakeman
Fun fact: Last year I tracked almost 40,000 steps on my fitbit in one day at Towersey Festival

Simon Care - Venue Programmer FDH
I book the dance bands and teams for festival dance house. This is my 7th year.
Favourite biscuit? Garibaldi
Favourite board game? Risk
Favourite holiday destination? Albefeira Portugal
Best artist I've seen at Towersey:  Richard Thompson 
Fun Fact: Having played all over the world , I still get nervous playing at Towersey. It’s like playing in front of your family 

Simon Diegan - Local Liaison - Thame 
Simon first attended Towersey Festival as a performer in 1979 and he's been to Towersey as a performer, MC and as a festival goer on and off ever since. He has been MC at the Festival Market Square for the past six years as well as taking on the role of local liaison.
Favourite biscuit: Ginger Nuts
Karaoke Song: Comfortably Numb (Pink Floyd)
Board Game: Articulate
Favourite Holiday destination: Cornwall
Best artist seen at Towersey: Richard Thompson 
Fun fact: I cycled from Land's End to John O'Groats in nine days!