Media release: Celebrating cultural links at 26th international folk dance festival

DIFDF at St Giles 2019

NEXT month, there’s a great opportunity to celebrate our cultural links through Scottish, Belgian and Spanish music and dance.

The occasion is the return of the Dunedin Dancers International Folk Dance Festival in its 26th edition, taking place 7-9 July, with indoor and outdoor performances in Edinburgh, and Stirling.

The festival’s Dance Showcase & Ceilidh at the Magnusson Centre in Edinburgh is one of the highlights, with folk dance and music performances from ‘Agrupación Folklórica Celme’ – a folk dance ensemble from Galicia, Spain and ‘Venderliergilde Gelmelzwaaiers’ – a flag waving and drum corps group from Hoogstraten, Flanders, Belgium.

These visiting groups will perform alongside two Edinburgh dance groups, Dunedin Dancers and ‘New Scotland’, who will feature the range of Scottish dance – country dancing, highland, hard shoe stepdance and ceilidh with live music.

Festival chair, Ian Brockbank, said: “The Festival Dance Showcase & Ceilidh and the other performances will be fabulous opportunities to hear the different musical traditions and see the various different dance styles and costumes. We are so pleased that we are once again able to bring this experience to audiences in Edinburgh and Stirling.”

The showcase takes place on the evening of Saturday 8 July. Tickets are £10 full price; £5 for under 18s. You can book tickets through the Dunedin Dancers website or at the door on the night.

All the other festival performances are in the afternoon: at The Grassmarket (Fri 7 July), Ross Bandstand (Sat 8 July), and Stirling Castle (9 July), and are free – though admission to Stirling Castle needs to be paid. Ideal for families looking for activities during the school holidays.

The 26th Dunedin International Folk Dance Festival is organised on a voluntary basis by Dunedin Dancers in association with Edinburgh University New Scotland Country Dance Society (EUNSCDS).

Our thanks to Tasgadh Small Arts Grants funding administered by Feisean nan Gaidheal with funding from Creative Scotland; the City of Edinburgh Council, Edinburgh Academy and Historic Environment Scotland for their support with venues for our festival and R&I MacDonald Kiltmakers for supporting our printing costs:

Programme listings 7-9 July 2023

Friday 7 July: EDINBURGH Performance

The Grassmarket*
Scotland, Spain and Belgium will be performing in the Old Town in The Grassmarket. 1:00-2:30pm – free (donations welcome)

Saturday 8 July: EDINBURGH Performance

Ross Bandstand, West Princes Street Gardens*
Scotland, Spain and Belgium will be performing at the Ross Bandstand in the Gardens by Princes Street with Edinburgh Castle as a backdrop—seating will be available. 1:30-3:00pm – free (donations welcome)

Saturday 8 July: EDINBURGH Dance Festival Showcase + Ceilidh

Magnusson Centre, Edinburgh Academy,

42 Henderson Row, Edinburgh EH3 5BL

Scotland, Spain, Belgium will be dancing in this indoor event.  Concert will run 7:30-9:30pm with an interval then we’ll push back the chairs to enjoy some ceilidh/social dancing until late! Soft drinks, tea, coffee and snacks will be available for purchase. Tickets £10 full price; £5 for under 18s. You can book tickets through the link on the Dunedin Dancers website (see below or use the QR code) or you can turn up on the day (though if we are fully booked we may not be able to grant admission).


Queen Anne Gardens

Scotland, Spain and Belgium give their last performance together in the stunning location of the Queen Anne Gardens at Stirling Castle.

Parade 1.30pm; Performance 2:00-3.30pm. Not to be missed! (Stirling Castle admission is required £17/£14/£10.50 – family ticket options are available too)

weather permitting—see our Facebook page for updates

More information at: or e: or tel: 0795 191 8366


Notes for editors:

For any further enquiries or photo requests please contact Fiona Campbell 0795 191 8366 or (or Examples of photos available are at the end of this media release.

Photo caption: Scottish Dancers outside St Giles at the Dunedin International Folk Dance Festival 2019 – Photo by Bleu Hope

About the groups involved:

The festival is organised by Dunedin Dancers, in association with Edinburgh University New Scotland Country Dance Society.

Dunedin Dancers was formed in 1970 by members of New Scotland who wanted to return the favour to groups they had visited at Folk Festivals around Europe. The first Dunedin Festival was held in 1971, and has been held every two years since (with the exception in 2021 which was cancelled by Covid), hosting two to three visiting groups each time. 2023 is the 26th Dunedin Folk Dance Festival.

The two Scottish groups come together to perform Scottish Country Dance, Highland and Scottish stepdance (hard shoe), to music played primarily on the fiddle, accordion and bagpipes. For more information about all our activities, including this festival, phone 0795 191 8366 or visit our websites:; Dunedin Dancers is a Scottish Charity Registered No: SC011896

Agrupación Folklórica Celme from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain

Agrupación Folklórica Celme was founded in 1984 by Enrique Domínguez Lino, to promote Galician dances and music, and to investigate Galician folklore and bring back to life traditions, music and dances that have been forgotten, along with customs, dresses and related tools.

The group covers a broad range of dances, falling into three main categories: guild and ribbon dances, traditional dances from all over Galicia, and dances from the upper class parties. They are renowned for their rich variety of traditional costumes, thanks to their artisan tailors, including working and mountain clothes as worn by farmers in their daily work; sailor costumes; and the elaborate upper class gala dress.

Agrupación Folklórica Celme have performed around Europe, including last visiting the Dunedin Festival in 2011.

Venderliergilde Gelmelzwaaiers from Hoogstraten, Flanders, Belgium

‘Vendelzwaaien’ – loosely translated as ‘flag waving’ – is an old traditional artform originating from the medieval guilds and town militias, and still practiced in Flanders. Large flags with weighted handles are used in a stunning, synchronised display, often to the accompaniment of their drum corps.

The ‘Vendeliergilde Gelmelzwaaiers’ was founded in 1972 from members who had learned in the local Catholic Rural Youth Movement (KLJ) and continued after leaving. They have performed at home and abroad ever since, including around Europe and over to the USA. In 1997, a youth section was started, and a drum band was formed within the group in 1999.

Gelmelzwaaiers Hoogstraten last visited the Dunedin Festival in 2001; Dunedin Dancers  visited them in 1996 and will be returning to their festival at the end of July this year.

MEDIA RELEASE issued by TMSA. You too can share your stories (aka press or media releases), on this site. Email here for more information.

Check out for your very own media releases feed…

TMSA contact details…

Contact: Fiona Campbell
Phone: 07951918366