Daytime and late night ceilidhs, morris dancing in Southwell town centre, dance workshops and more, all to be announced for 2023.
The first of the ceilidh bands is Lasair, one of the fastest rising bands on the folk circuit, who'll be kicking things off with a late night ceilidh on Friday night in the folk stage tent. They boast a supercharged lineup of fiddle, mandolin and melodeon backed by a roasting rhythm section of drums, bass and guitars. Lasair have headlined many of the UK's biggest folk festivals including Sidmouth Folk Week, Shrewsbury and more.
They are: Jodie Highfield, queen of the ceilidh fiddle, Matt Crum, melodeon legend of Steamchicken fame, Alfie Gidley, bold and versatile mandolin and acoustic guitar chops, Ben Trott, distinguished prog rock electric guitarist of Albion Band notoriety, Ioan McAvoy, rock solid and funky on the bass, James Cook, high octane percussion/drums.
The Saturday night ceilidh is with Juniper, a 6 piece band with Harry Thorpe, including Sean Morrison calling. Juniper has years of experience providing fun and high quality performances in a variety of settings across the UK, including providing the ceilidh for Purbeck Valley Folk Festival in 2019 and hosting an accessible ceilidh in Victoria Square, Birmingham as part of the Commonwealth Festival.
We've a lively ceilidh lined-up for Sunday morning with Bonfire Radicals: an electrifying sound of 6 piece (un)traditional folk band Bonfire Radicals is both intensely creative and irresistibly fun. More about them here.
As for Morris, here are the sides we have for 2023. As well as dancing on site, there'll be the dance Procession on Saturday at 11am along King St in Southwell, from The Saracen’s Head to The Burgage, followed by dancing on King St.
Founded in 1985 Feet First are the UK’s longest running Appalachian Dance Team. They perform traditional Appalachian steps choreographed into performance dances in much the same way as the American Appalachian teams do. The dances themselves have a wide variety of influences e.g. Ballroom, Irish, Greek, clog, Morris and jazz. With their own band, the dancing is high energy, fast and fun.
Golden Star Morris is an inclusive Cotswold Morris side from Norwich, with dancers aged 12-80! You'll spot them wearing red and gold baldricks with their signature Golden Star emblem, and dancing energetically with sticks and hankies. They aim to bring you polished performances while not taking themselves too seriously, and having a good time. If you’re lucky, you may also spot their trusty steed, Champion the Wonder Horse!
Mortimer's Morris is an energetic women's side from Nottingham who’ll tantalise you with a modern twist on North West Morris, whilst the famous Mortimer's Band tickle your ears with sounds from across Europe. In their trademark ornate purple waistcoats, Mortimer’s kit stands out from the crowd
Poacher Morris are Lincoln’s original mixed Border Morris Team. Formed in 1995, they take their name from the song ‘The Lincolnshire Poacher’ and perform the dances of the Welsh Border tradition in their own style. They enjoy performing lively and energetic dances and actively encourage new dancers and musicians to join in fun social exercise. They'll just be here for Saturday's procession.
Retford’s Rattlejag Morris is a mixed side aimed at reviving and developing a local dance tradition. They dance Plough Morris, taking inspiration from the local ploughboys of the 19th century. They each have their own colour ribbon and face paint and perform broom, bacca pipe, and sword dances amongst many others unique to the group.
Stone the Crows
Stone the Crows are a Border Morris side from Leyland in Lancashire. They are very much part of a living tradition with a reputation for their lively and entertaining dancing. Some of the dances they perform are traditional, collected from the counties along the Welsh border, while others demonstrate a modern collecting and sharing of tunes and dances between fellow Border teams.
Whip the Cat Rapper & Clog
Formed in 1999, Whip the Cat are an inclusive and diverse Rapper Sword team from Nottingham, with a pleasing blend of youth and experience. They perform a number of exciting Rapper dances, both traditional and of their own compilation, together with some lovely step clog routines. They are a regular folk festival side and are recent winners of various categories of (the Dancing England Rapper Tournament.
All the way from sunny Northamptonshire, the Witchmen are looking forward to frequenting a real beer tent and helping to prop up the bar! In between times, they will be dancing on the festival site and in town. It is now their 36th year in existence - still as energetic and mysterious as ever – with a band to match! Come and take a look!