Inter Varsity Folk Dance Festival

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The Inter Varsity Folk Dance Festival (IVFDF) is the longest running folk festival in the United Kingdom.[1]

It differs from most other festivals in two respects: it moves location every year, and it is hosted and organised by student folk societies. However it attracts ex-students and folk music enthusiasts, who descend on the host university for a weekend of music, dance, song and sleep deprivation. The festival is always run in either the last weekend in February or the first weekend in March; the festival at Exeter University in 2009 was attended by around 1169 different ticket holders — one of the most of any IVFDF up to that time (the previous record was just over 1000 attendees at the IVFDF in Manchester in 1986).

History[edit]

The festival started in 1951 at the University of Leeds. Since then it has been roaming UK universities from the north (the University of Aberdeen in Scotland) to the south (the University of Exeter in Devon):

  • 2015 Exeter will be held in the 'new buildings' of the University of Exeter and the Great Hall.
  • 2014 Edinburgh
  • 2013 Sheffield
  • 2012 Aberdeen
  • 2011 Bristol
  • 2010 was held at Durham University from 5 to 7 March 2010. The line-up included Eliza Carthy and Aidan Curran, Whapweasel and Martyn Harvey, Vertical Expression, Fidola, alongside many workshops and a Morris Tour.
  • 2009 happened in Exeter, between 27 February and 1 March. The line-up included Kate Rusby, The Demon Barbers. Jackie Oates also appeared with Jim Causley. Main ceilidhs were provided by The Committee Band and Stomp with over 40 workshops taking place over the weekend, as well as the infamous Survivor's Ceilidh! All events were back on one site, including sleeping, food and all the late night sessions. 2009 Festival website. The festival was attended by in excess of 1150 visitors, the most ever at any IVFDF.
  • 2008 Sheffield. (29 February to 2 March). Bands and artists appearing were Glory Strokes (Pete Rees), Vertical Expression (Andrew Swaine), The Gloworms (Nick Walden), Janiver (formed from previous Jabadaw members), Triple Scotch. There was also a concert with Crucible, Spiers & Boden. There were over 1000 visitors to the festival.
  • In 2007 the venue moved up north to Edinburgh University from 2-4 March. Bands included Peeping Tom and John Dipper, Various demonstration dances including Scottish and a dance to the soundtrack of "The Sound of Music" and diverse workshops.
  • In 2006 it was held on 24 – 26 February by Cambridge University with a committee made up of students and ex-students belonging to the universities' three folk orientated societies (Gog Magog Molly, The Round and The Strathspey and Reel Society). Because Cambridge does not have a single large students union building they hired a local school to accommodate the 1000+ attendees. Workshops held in various rooms, including the gym and sports hall, sessions in the library and common room, and sleeping in the maths classrooms. Lots of dance teams turned up, including Stone the Crows, Black Swan Rapper, and Pig Dyke Molly as well as the usual complement of university-based teams from all over the country.
  • 2005 Norwich
  • 2004, Exeter
  • 2003, Sheffield
  • 2002, St. Andrews
  • 2001, Cambridge
  • 2000, Glasgow
  • 1999, Exeter
  • 1998, Sheffield
  • 1997, Cambridge - Held mainly at Anglia Polytechnic University and venues around the city. This was the first IVFDF hosted in Cambridge
  • 1996, Edinburgh
  • 1995, Exeter
  • 1994, Manchester
  • 1993, Sheffield
  • 1992, East Anglia
  • 1991, Nottingham
  • 1990, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • 1989, Exeter
  • 1988, Edinburgh
  • 1987, Reading
  • 1986, Manchester
  • 1985, Southampton
  • 1984, Sheffield
  • 1983, Nottingham
  • 1982, Reading
  • 1981, Leeds
  • 1980, Durham
  • 1979, East Anglia
  • 1978, Southampton
  • 1977, Manchester
  • 1976, Edinburgh
  • 1975, London
  • 1974, Oxford
  • 1973, Liverpool
  • 1972, Durham
  • 1971, Nottingham
  • 1970, Reading - IVFDF extended to a 2-day festival as a ceilidh was arranged for those who were staying overnight on Friday
  • 1969, Strathclyde - Technically run by Glasgow, but under a different name.
  • 1968, Hull
  • 1967, Exeter
  • 1966, Liverpool
  • 1965, Newcastle
  • 1964, Sheffield
  • 1963, London
  • 1962, Manchester
  • 1961, Leeds
  • 1960, Glasgow
  • 1959, Nottingham
  • 1958, London
  • 1957, Bristol - The first to feature a Morris tour.
  • 1956, Manchester
  • 1955, Birmingham
  • 1954, Edinburgh
  • 1953, Sheffield
  • 1952, Newcastle
  • 1951, Leeds. This was the first festival, and at that time was not known as IVFDF

Mascots[edit]

Society mascots are considered by some to be a large part of the festival, and those which can be seen being carried around include Cuthbert (Snake, Cambridge), Nessie (Loch Ness Monster, Edinburgh), Floyd (Pig, Exeter), Rustle (Ceilidh Monster, Sheffield) and Don (Elephant, Warwick). Mascot ransoming is now banned at IVFDF after several people sustained injuries at one festival.

External links[edit]

References[edit]