Media release: UK’s longest-running folk dance festival in Edinburgh for 2019


THE UK’s longest-running folk dance festival is coming to Edinburgh next weekend.

A friendly festival, open to all, the Inter-Varsity Folk Dance Festival (IVFDF), 1-3 March, features many countries’ dance styles – from Kurdistan to America, to France and Scotland – through workshops, performances and ceilidhs. Everybody can have fun, so take your friends with you or come and make some new ones!

Highlights at various venues include:

The festival opening on Friday evening with a Scottish Ceilidh with local band, Point Five, with strong and energetic fiddles to make you want to jump onto the dance floor.

They will be followed by an English Ceilidh with Monkey Box. At another venue, there is an American Ceilidh/Contra, with local band Hoik, with local folk star, Tom Oakes, and Edward Wallace, followed by a European Ceilidh/Bal Folk with extremely talented melodeon player No&Mi, coming from Lyon, France, for the event. This will end with a late-night dancing jam until 2.30am.

Saturday begins with an American Ceilidh/Contra, with The Night Before, a young but most acclaimed band from Sheffield, followed by an European Ceilidh/Bal Folk with one of Belgium’s most famous bands, renowned for the beauty of their compositions, Naragiona.

Or you can go to another Scottish Ceilidh with young local band An Conasg, who play beautiful melodic music. An English Ceilidh will be led by English dance superstars Hekety, who have been playing cutting edge English dance music since their formation in 1997. Alternatively, there is a Scottish Country Dance event with Matthew Maclennan’s Dance Band, who won a multitude of award for his amazing accordion playing.

Venues for the evening events range from Potterow, the Teviot Debating Hall, South Pollock Halls, Southside Community Centre, The Jam House and St Peters’s Church Hall, Lutton Place.

During the day on Saturday and Sunday, there are over 50 workshops (including music, dancing, talks, etc.) to attend at The Pleasance and Teviot Student Union Buildings plus a Science Ceilidh with the unique Science Ceilidh Band, from Edinburgh.

Details of the full programme and tickets are on or the IVFDF2019 Facebook page.

Weekend tickets for full festival access are only £35 (£20 concessions) with options to buy day or evening tickets, at the door or online.

Starting 1951, IVFDF has taken place at a different UK university each year, from Aberdeen in the north to Exeter in the south.

It is organised completely by volunteers at the host university but you do not need to be associated with a University to attend. Hundreds of people attend this long running festival each time with many coming from all over the country and beyond to enjoy the wide range of the programme and meet old friends and make new ones.

IVFDF 2019 is supported by the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (RSCDS), English Folk Dance & Song Society (EFDSS) and Hobgoblin Music.

IVFDF 2019 press and photo contact: Jean-Christophe Denis – tel: 0772 273 3214.

For more information: Fiona Campbell, TMSA, 07951 918366.

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Contact: Fiona Campbell