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Giant pop-up ceilidh!

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Hartlepool Folk Festival has been commissioned to create a mega-ceilidh for the Tall Ships Race in July! We have got one of the greatest ceilidh bands in the UK, the mighty Whapweasel, coming to Hartlepool to give music and dance workshops prior to the event. Here's how you can get involved!


Dance workshops

Members of Whapweasel will visit selected locations in Hartlepool in the weeks commencing 12 and 19 June. Schools, clubs and social dance groups will have the chance to learn the steps and the basics of ceilidh dance. Participants will then take part in the Giant Pop-Up Ceilidh at Tall Ships Festival in July. 

There is no cost to host workshops, but we ask for a commitment to attend the Giant Pop-up Ceilidh.

Music Workshops

Whapweasel will come to your group and teach you killer ceilidh tunes! Suitable for all instruments - you'll learn how to play for dance from some of the most exciting live musicians on the traditional dance scene, and then join them on the day as part of the Giant Pop-up Ceilidh Band.

There is no cost to host workshops, but we ask for a commitment to attend the Giant Pop-up Ceilidh.

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How else can I take part?

Come along to the Giant Pop-up Ceilidh at Tall Ships Festival! Ceilidh dancing is super-easy to pick up, and there's always a caller to guide you through the dances. We'll also have our workshop participants on hand. The Giant Pop-up Ceilidh will be a fun, social and lively part of your Tall Ships experience!

About the Band

 Renowned ceilidh band Whapweasel have been delighting and exhausting dancers for over 20 years. This seven-piece dance band have notched up 7 albums of enthralling, turbo-charged dance music, attracting rave reviews, packed dance floors, and the accolade Dance Band of the Year at the

Radio 2 Folk Awards.  


The line up:

Saul Rose - melodeon

Stuart Finden - saxophone

Fiona Finden - saxophone

Heather Bell - keyboards

Matt Price - guitar 

Brian Bell - bass 

Dan Ward - drums 

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About Ceilidh

Ceilidh is based on traditional social dance styles from Britain. It's come a long way since the barn dancing or country dancing you might remember from school. With driving energy and a range of instruments from fiddles to electric guitars, drums and brass, there are no limits to the ways ceilidh can be interpreted - Hartlepool Folk Festival even hosted a ska ceilidh a few years ago. There's always a caller to guide you through the steps, and it's okay not to be perfect - just have fun!


To find out more, drop us a line


Joanie Crump, Festival Director

Daisy Crump, Festival Assistant Director

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