Hello from Bristol University Folk Society!
Great music! Great dancing! Free festivals! Getting to know all the best Bristolian pubs, making friendships for life, and weird and wonderful people! This society’s here for all your uni experience needs.
There are several exciting parts of our society! All are friendly, all are free (and if you join one, you’re under no obligation to go to any of the others). Scroll down for all the details on...
- Bristol Rag Morris
- Folk Club Sessions
Bristol Rag Morris
Bristol Rag Morris is the university’s very own Morris dancing side, complete with cacophonous bells, ragged costumes, and rubber chickens. Dedicated to keeping tradition alive and almost in fashion (we can certainly turn a few heads), if you’ve ever fancied throwing dignity to the winds and just jumping, dancing, or hitting things with a stick then we may be the group for you. Love of folk music, physical co-ordination and experience are all largely unnecessary – we teach our repertoire of dances from scratch every year, beginners are welcome at any point, and supportiveness and fun are at the top of our priorities. We perform to live music all across Bristol, across Somerset and Gloucestershire, across the country and frankly, across Europe. Exotic locales and free entry to ceilidhs (and even the occasional festival) are definite perks! Spare costumes, hankies, sticks, bells, and a mildly alarming hobby horse are all provided; good sports shoes are strongly advised.
Practice is on Thursday evenings at 8-10pm, in the Stephenson Room (in the Student Union building on Queen's Road). We’re practising fortnightly now, so we can fit in some lovely summer evenings at the local pubs. Check out our Facebook page for details!
Photos (Left-Right): Jenny Norris, Anna Smith, Rob M. Speed, K. Scholan
Folk Club Sessions
Unfortunately, the regular sessions can't run for obvious reasons in the near future. We may, however, devise a covid-safe sessions. Sign up to the mailing list to keep informed!
Bristol University Folk Club meets every Monday at 9 pm in the White Bear. If you want somewhere to play your instrument without the pressure to perform, our sessions are great. With a relaxed and friendly setting, everybody’s welcome of any instrument or level of experience. You’re more than welcome to bring along your own folky pieces to play or sing, and you can find our regular tunes at https://bristolfolksoc.github.io/tunes if you want to have a look beforehand.
We also meet up for dedicated singing sessions on the first Sunday of every month, 8 pm at the Highbury Vaults (quite near Student Health, on St. Michael’s Hill). It’s a friendly and supportive space, anyone who wants to sing is wholeheartedly welcome! We meet in the front room, to your right as you come in the front door.
Copyright (left): Richard Vigars; other photos: K. Scholan.
Again, we can't promise that we can run any social dancing this year. If your feet are itching, learn some jigs with Rag Morris!
We love ‘em! We’re committed to organising at least two ceilidhs a year for your delectation and delight, and probably – hopefully! - more. Everyone is welcome! All our ceilidhs are ‘called gender-free’ (the instructions won’t include any women/men binaries or specific roles for any genders) and you don’t even need to be a member of the society! Although of course, if you sign up (for free, no less) you’re much more likely to hear about them ;).
If you’ve not been to one before, this is your chance! Ceilidhs are great evenings dancing with other people in a really relaxed setting. There’s someone up to top telling you how the dance goes, so you never need to worry about experience, and the aim of the game is always just having fun. At the Scratch Ceilidhs we run, you can come along just to dance, or you can join the band, or try your hand at calling from the front! Whatever takes your fancy, the more the merrier. We’d love you to come.
And yes, there is a Folk Club Ceilidh Band and yes, you can join! Our regular practices are a great place to go over and really learn some of our favourite tunes, and the band performs at a whole range of society and external events. Its great experience, and a great time! Bring your favourite instrument and join us on zoom on Fridays between 19:00 and 21:00!
If you’re from another society and you want to throw a ceilidh together, or you want the band to perform for your event, we’re so up for that. Get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org to have a chat!
Copyright (all): Bryan Wong - www.facebook.com/BryanWongPhotography
The folk club and the folk soc band work together to put on workshop afternoons in the autumn term. We gather expert folkie people from across the country to come and teach us awesome stuff, like how to play better for dancing, calling, and contra dancing! Also less awesome but important stuff like how the PA works. Join any of the mailing lists for exciting updates and information about these!
If you’ve never thought to try Morris dancing, folk music or ceilidhs before, don’t be put off! However you get involved, we’re one of Bristol’s most colourful societies and we make friends for life. You won’t regret meeting us!
If for some reason you'd like even more information than this however, we have a nice shiny website as well: https://bristolfolksoc.com/
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