What's On

A full weekend of dancing music and fun.

Electronic programme


Friday evening

Ticket desk open from 7pm until midnight. Our pre-dancing special show will start at 7pm. First dance starts at 8:30pm once we have cleared the tables from the dining halls.
  • Visual Puppetry Show - The Walls Have Eyes (but so do we)
  • Ceilidh - FiddlersWreck
  • Contra - Contrary Faeries
  • Bal workshop
  • Bal - Portmanteau


Ticket desk open from 8:30am until midnight.
  • Workshops
  • Morris Tour
  • Playford - Matt and Ali
  • Display Ceilidh - The Shamrock Experience
  • Scottish - Weaver and Wood
  • Ceilidh - Blackbeard's Tea Party
  • Techno Contra - Bearded Dragons


Ticket desk open from 8:30am. Last dances finishes at 5pm.
  • Workshops
  • Constant Contra
  • Survivors Ceilidh - You

The Main Dances



Fri 8:30pm - 11:30pm

Contrary Faeries with caller Charlie Turner
Facebook logo

Contrary Faeries arise from Sheffield to delight, entrance, and enthrall! Sol Loreto-Miller (they/she) on piano and Joshua Rowe (they/them) on fiddle will whisk you away to a world where you can dance forever and forget your troubles, your home, and the life you lived before.

Charlie Turner has been dancing and teaching for as long as she can remember, but a move to San Francisco transformed her contra dancing and started her calling. Now based in Cambridge, UK, she brings the best of the West Coast to contra crowds, with clear, friendly teaching and satisfying dance selections. She emphasises connection, fun, flow and inclusivity in dance.


Fri 9:00pm - 12:00am

FiddlersWreck with caller Michael Jary

Photo of FiddlersWreck

Link to website
Facebook logo
Youtube logo

FiddlersWreck Ceilidh Band are a York based band that have been playing lively music for dancing to for 18 years. Marie Wood (accordion), Nicky Kerslake (fiddle) and Michael Jary (concertina) play a mixture of English, Northumbrian, Scottish and Irish music to fit to Michael’s broad selection of dances suitable for ceilidh novices and more experienced dancers alike.


Fri 10:45pm - Late

Link to website

Traditional Balfolk dance tunes with a touch of modernity. Portmanteau’s blend of acoustic instruments and subtle synthesizers creates a captivating musical experience that honors tradition while embracing the future.

Late Night Dancing

Sat 12:00am - Late


Dance the night away. Anyone can call, anyone can play, anything can be danced.



Sat 2:00pm - 4:30pm

Matt Norman and Ali Messer with caller Lauren Catlin

Enjoy an afternoon of dancing from the 17th and 18th century, based around the dances published by John Playford, danced as they should be danced - fun, with lots of energy and to wonderful music.

Instagram logo
Facebook logo

Matt and Ali are familiar faces on the social dance scene. They are both multi instrumentalists combining accordion, piano, fiddle and mandolin to create music full of inventiveness and energy guaranteed to get people up and dancing. Expect highs and lows with driving rhythms, beautiful textures and the odd funky bass line.

Facebook logo

Lauren Catlin is a caller and dancer based in Nottingham with experience in calling for all ages and abilities. A trainee history teacher in her non-folk life, she enjoys tunes and music from the past and how they have been interpreted and adapted for new audiences. She is a regular caller at Nottingham Folk Dance Group, and has also called at Loughborough Folk Dance Club, the Round’s Playford Ball, and a variety of online events.

Display Ceilidh

Sat 4:00pm - 6:30pm

The Shamrock Experience with caller Ben Couper

A ceilidh with a difference, between the normal ceilidh dances there will be lots of display spots where you can come and show off the display dance your university society has put together. From amazingly sublime dances to sublimely silly dances (think Lord of the Rings themed Postie’s Jig or Scottish meets Monty Python).

Facebook logo

The Shamrock Experience is a three piece folk fusion ceilidh band that blends folk reels and jigs with a combination of styles that drives rhythm at the heart of their sound. Formed in 2006, The Shamrock Experience has played for many events around the UK including The Llangollen International Music Festival, BBC Countryfile, and Channel 5 Celebs On The Farm. The band explores folk melodies combined with improvisation, effects and styles to captivate audiences with instructed dances adapted to suit from beginners onwards. The band has also recently run ceilidhs for the York University Folk Society.

Scottish Country Dance

Sat 5:00pm - 7:30pm

Weaver and Wood with callers Lucy Munro and Stephen Mitchell

Dance programme

Joie de Vivre8x32J3 Couple (4 Couple Set)
The Australian Ladies8x32R3 Couple (4 Couple Set)
The Poet and His Lass3x32S3 Couple
Ian Powrie's Farewell to Auchterarder128JSquare
The Deil Amang the Tailors8x32R3 Couple (4 Couple Set)
Hyacinths to Haddo House2x32S+2x32RSquare
Hooper's Jig8x32J3 Couple (4 Couple Set)


The Dunedin Festival Dance6x32RRound the Room
Johnnie Walker64S+64JSquare
Duke of Perth8x32R3 Couple (4 Couple Set)
The Bees of Maggieknockater4x32J4 Couple Set
Snowdrops3x32S3 Couple
The Eightsome Reel40+8x48+40RSquare
The Highland Rambler8x40R3 Couple (4 Couple Set)


Posties Jig4x32J4 Couple Set
A Trip to Bavaria4x32R4 Couple Set
Good for BeginnersIntermediateExciting!

Facebook logo
Youtube logo

We are Weaver and Wood, a duo specialising in folk improvisation inspired by both current and historical traditions. We formed through our desire to celebrate the energy and vibrancy that improvisation can bring to live performance. Our music ranges from contemporary folk arrangements of traditional tunes, improvisation on Medieval chants, and exploring the improvisatory possibilities of our own compositions.

Lucy and Stephen are experienced callers and teachers of Scottish Country Dancing and Ceilidhs based in Edinburgh, having called and taught on the East coast of Scotland for university groups and others. They have performed Scottish Country and Highland dances across Europe as participants of folk festivals. They are frequent attendees of IVFDF as both dancers and workshop leaders and are looking forward to their first time calling an evening dance at the festival!


Sat 7:00pm - 10:00pm

Blackbeard's Tea Party with caller Gordon Potts

Blackbeard's Tea Party Logo

Link to website
Instagram logo
Facebook logo
Youtube logo

We couldn’t host IVFDF in York without an appearance from Blackbeard’s Tea Party - they were formed in the city in 2009 and have gone on to become one of the most in-demand ceilidh bands in the country. They’ve played memorable ceilidhs at Cambridge Folk Festival, Towersey Festival, Sidmouth Folk Week and many others. Their arrangements of folk tunes have a rock edge, heavy riffs, playful arrangements and driving dance rhythms.

Over the years, caller Gordon Potts has been their frequent partner in crime. One of the most experienced ceilidh callers around, Potts is a true party starter with the perfect repertoire of dances to match Blackbeard’s Tea Party’s energy.


Sat 8:30pm - 11:00pm

Emily Bowden and Simon Dumpleton

Emily Bowden (fiddle) and Simon Dumpleton (chromatic accordion) have been touring together on the Balfolk scene for the last 8 years, both as a duo and, with the Belgian guitarist Simon Laffineur, as Emily & The Simons. Emily’s fiddle playing is sublime and the melodies soar over driving foot-tapping rhythms and chords from Simon’s accordion. Much of their music is adapted from the trio’s set; tender, soulful mazurkas, joyful, exuberant bourrées and everything in between. The duo formation also allows them to include additional material not heard at the trio gigs.

Techno Contra

Sat 9:00pm - 12:00am

Bearded Dragons with caller Sam Tetley Smith

Bearded Dragons

Link to website
Facebook logo
Youtube logo

The inimitable Benjamin Rowe and Vic Smith, masters of the traditional and the intangible, provide a unique and highly danceable musical experience.

From fire and darkness rise the mighty Bearded Dragons. Blending traditional and electronic styles, they are pioneers of Techno Contra, Techno Playford, and Electro Folk in general, at the very cutting edge of folk dance music. They are fiddle playing behemoth Benjamin Rowe (also found rampaging in Contrasaurus), and bellows, keys and synths monster Vic Smith (known also in Double Dichotomy, Fat Harry, and Ceilidh Experiment). Using both traditional instruments and sounds, with live hardware synthesisers, Bearded Dragons weave a musical experience that is entirely unique.

Sam Tetley Smith is a Sheffield-based contra caller and general folk-dance nerd. Expect dances with lots of opportunity to get lost in the music without too much chance of getting lost in the room.

Late Night Dancing

Sun 12:00am - Late


Dance the night away. Anyone can call, anyone can play, anything can be danced.


Constant Contra

Sun 11:30am - 1:00pm

Cavalcade of Callers

Just Keep Dancing! Allow a cavalcade of IVFDF’s finest contra dance callers to guide you through a constant stream of contra dance – no walkthroughs and no interruptions! If you want a break or to ask somebody else to dance, just stop dancing at the end of the set and join back in when you’re ready. Suitable for dancers comfortable with common contra figures.

Ad hoc Social Swing Dance

Sun 12:45pm - 1:45pm


A chance to swing dance the lunchtime away. Put into practice all the skills you’ve learnt in the Blues and Charleston workshops.

Survivors' Ceilidh

Sun 2:30pm - 5:00pm

You calling and playing. MC - Paul Martin

Celebrate the end of another fantastic IVFDF by calling, playing and/or dancing at our survivors’ ceilidh!

There will be a sign up sheet for calling at the front desk and Harry Pollard + Matt Norman will be leading the IVFDF Scratch Band (Scratch band rehearsals are on Saturday and Sunday mornings).

Morris Tour

On Saturday afternoon between 2pm and 4pm teams of morris dancers will be invading the city of York.

Please be aware that there will also be hordes of Vikings around the city for the Jorvik Viking Festival, hopefully you will be able to tell the two apart.

Open for anyone to come and watch.

TimeMaltings PubMuseum Gardens
2:00 to 2:30pm York Scratch Team
Brighton Morris
Acorn Morris
Border Reivers
Rag Morris
2:45 to 3:15pm Rag Morris
Brighton Morris
York Scratch Team
Border Reivers
Acorn Morris
3:30 to 4:00pm Rag Morris
Border Reivers
York Scratch Team
Brighton Morris
Acorn Morris



Cancelled - The Walls Have Eyes (but so do we)

Fri 7:00pm - 7:45pm

Jo Feijó and Frankie Insley

Sadly cancelled due to illness.

To kick off the festival we are delighted to announce our pre-dancing special show, ‘The Walls Have Eyes (but so do we)’: a folk puppetry show.

The Walls Have Eyes Poster

Inspired by true stories of the Portuguese fascists dictatorship, ‘the walls have eyes’ is a family visual puppetry show about self expression, innocence, bravery and what it takes to create change. Set against a backdrop of surveillance and censorship, watch a young girl as she discovers the true scope of the dangers that surround her and finds freedom within community. Written and performed by Jo Feijó, accompanied by the live folk of Frankie Insley, this show is an empowering watch for the whole family, reminding us of the importance of caring for one another through hard times and how only true inter dependance can allow for meaningful transformation.

Age recommendation: 8+

This will kick of the festival at 7pm in St Lawrence Church Community Hall, YO10 3WP.

This will be stewarded but not ticketed so you can go straight there before collecting your wristband from campus.

Craft and Quiet Room

IVFDF is so full of dance and music that some people might find it nice to stop and have some space.

In room G/N/010 we have set up a room where you can have a breathe, have some quieter space, do some crafting and just generally get away from things.


We know that folk dances often have a raffle, but IVFDF doesn't usually have one... however we saw some great ideas for raffle prizes and couldn't resist. Tickets for the raffle will be on sale at reception.

You can find us being sociable on:

Instagram logo Facebook logo Mastodon logo Youtube logo

Supported by:

Evek Tuem Il Frolay