The Dancers: This is a friendly festival which is all about dancing and dancers so at the heart of our day we currently have 51 confirmed dance groups with another 27 who have reserved places while they check their numbers). We want:
- Morris dancers of every shade including Border, Cotswold, Jig, Longsword, NW Clog, Molly, Rapper and Stave dancers.
- To balance all those sticks and bells we are inviting other dance styles including Appalachian, Ballet, Bollywood, Bulgarian, Clog, French, Hip Hop, Irish, Lebanese, Majorettes, Moravian, Playford, Polish, Regency, Samba, Scottish, Slovak, Tap and Welsh.
There’s a changing room in St Margaret’s Hall in the centre of town for those that need one and a dancers’ car park. There is also a big chill out room / bag drop / cloak room upstairs in the Library for all the stuff you don’t want to carry round all day.
The Dancing: We’ll have at least nine beautiful riverside and historic/pub dance venues around the town and most have covered alternatives if it rains. There will be at least two covered wooden dance floors for Appalachian, clog, step etc., dancers. At each location the day is divided into 45 minute dance slots with three dance groups per slot so you can expect to dance three or four times during the day, each at a different place and each with a different partner groups.
Hobby Horses & Beasts: Our giant Jack in the Green will tour all the venues and we have a special event for teams’ hobby horses, beasts and giants so if you have such please let us know. 16 booked in so far!
Procession & Tea: To close the day you are invited to join a procession of all teams around the Tithe Barn followed by a massed dance (we haven’t chosen the dance yet but will do so in plenty of time to send everyone the steps and music.), the stripping of our giant Jack In The Green and Holt Morris’s unique “Signposts” dance. We’ll end with a big performers’ social tea-time party at the tithe barn with food, hot drinks and a bar. There will be a public barn dance in the early evening so let us know if you’d like to stay for that.
Stay for the weekend! Several sides are making a weekend of it so on Friday night we’ll have a dancers’ meet up, food and music session in The Swan Hotel and on Saturday a public barn dance in the evening.
Spectators: Last year we worked had very good spectator numbers in the low thousands. We aim to improve that for 2020.
Join Us! Your dance group is invited to join us so please email us. There is no closing date and while we can expand the number of dance venues there are limits so it is first come first served.