The 52nd Inter-Varsity Folk Dance Festival 2002, St. Andrews

A Step Back in Time

1st-3rd March 2002

The Inter-Varsity Folk Dance Festival is the longest continuously running folk festival in the British Isles, founded in 1951. Every year students and non-students alike invade a gullible university for a weekend of song, dance and music (Wine and women are also known to have attended!).

Ceilidh and Concert Welcome

Dancing starts as soon as festival-goers arrive, with the Friday night English ceilidh hosted by renowned Cock & Bull and caller Michael Catovsky. As the night draws to a close the "wee sleekit timrous beasties" retire to the comfort of cosy beds and Bed and Breakfasts. Meanwhile the hardy remainder roll out their sleeping bags and drift off to sleep to the accompaniment of late-night fiddlers, accordionists and dancers.

Update: Unfortunately Deaf Shepherd will not be able to join us.

Workshops Galore

Saturday morning and it's sleeping bags up and dancing shoes on for workshops. These are designed to include everyone from the complete beginner to the more advanced, covering a wide range of music, song and dance. On average, five workshops run at any one time so finding something you like shouldn't be too hard.

Time To Show Off

After lunch get ready for the Display Ceilidh and, for those of you with strong livers, the Morris Tour. The Display Ceilidh is a fun dance like any other but with spots for demonstrations by different universities and dance groups. Previous years have seen a mixture of breath-taking and humorous demonstrations taking place, so don't feel that pointed toes and perfect figures are the only option for showing off your talents! The Morris Tour on the other hand, is a chance for the Morris men to get together and combine ale and dance in their own unique way.

Dance the Night Away

Afterwards there's time for a few more workshops before the big Saturday night events. The lineup this year features a ceilidh headed by the funky tones of Whapweasel with caller Martyn Harvey. The traditional Scottish Dance will take place to the fantastic music of David Anderson and his band. This year we want to encourage young and old, beginners and advanced to join in the Scottish dance and so there will be a special workshop just before the dance that'll get you moving to any jig, reel or strathspey! And, as always, when the main events wind down the music and dancing will continue...

No Rest for the Wicked (Or the seasoned IVFDFer)

No sleeping in, as Sunday morning starts with more fun packed workshops. Then the afternoon hits and the Survivor's ceilidh commences. Musicians are encouraged to bring their instruments and play for this final dance, and established and budding callers are invited to lead a dance or two.

All good things come to an end and as the light fades and the buses arrive to take people home, the inhabitants of sleepy St. Andrews return once more to their routines.

St. Andrews

For those of you who haven't dared venture north of the border for fear of us "marauding Scots", St. Andrews is the perfect place to host IVFDF. City walls, a castle and one of the biggest ruined cathedrals in Britain all contribute to the sense of the medieval and the relaxed pace of life. The town centre hasn't grown much beyond its three medieval streets, so no workshop is ever far away. And with it's idyllic setting on the coast, refreshing walks along St. Andrews' beaches are easily available to reinvigorate tired bones or feet!


Bus - From Edinburgh the X59 and the X60 both run from St. Andrews Square at half hour intervals Monday - Saturday and will take you straight to the centre of St. Andrews. For full details of timetables contact Stagecoach on (01334) 474238.

Train - Leuchars station is the closest to St. Andrews, and it's situated on the main line from London to Aberdeen. There are also hourly trains from Edinburgh. Once at Leuchars, buses to St. Andrews are fairly frequent (every 10 min) and cost under £2. Taxis from Leuchars to St. Andrews will cost around £8. Timetable information from Railtrack on 08457 48 49 50 or www.railtrack.co.uk

Road - (from south) Follow A90 over the Forth Road Bridge, onto M90. At Junction 2a take A92 toward Glenrothes. Continue over many roundabouts, past Glenrothes and Markinch (short single carriageway stretch) to end of dual carriageway & roundabout junction with A912/A914. Turn right onto A914 to Cupar. Join A91 at Cupar and follow this to St. Andrews.


There are plenty of options here. Some workshop sites will have light refreshments available, but St. Andrews is packed with pubs and coffee houses which do good food at a reasonable price. Alternatively, the Student's Union does good food even cheaper!


Camping on the dance floor is free. If a sleeping bag is not your idea of comfort then you might want to check out the local B & B's. You can call the St. Andrews Tourist Board on (01334) 472021 or check out www.visit-standrews.co.uk


T-Shirt£6.50 (in advance)
 £7.00 (at IVFDF)

Contact Details:

IVFDF 2002,
3 (2F3) Newton Street,
EH11 1TQ

E-mail: ivfdf2002@bigfoot.com

Last Updated: March 2001
Page Maintainer: Johann Bryant