May Heydays at Evesham:
2 – 5 May 2025

May Heydays at Evesham is the relocated and renamed Eastbourne International Folkdance Festival (EIFF). We had our first festival at the new venue, The De Montfort School, Evesham, in 2022. Dancers like the fact that all the events are on the same site. Our dance programme is extensive and very varied. We also offer singing and music workshops for various levels of proficiency. We believe that we are now the only English festival that has a whole stream of International dance events.

The Festival Venue

At the De Montfort School we have:An added bonus is that the school is less than a mile from Evesham town centre and there is one hotel within half a mile of the premises and the Premier Inn a 10-minute drive away.  There are other hotels, B&Bs and self-catering options within a few miles of the venue.  You can find suggestions on Where to stay within a reasonable distance from the festival venue.

Please note that only guide and assistance dogs are allowed within the school buildings.

The Festival Format

Closely following the long-established Eastbourne format, May Heydays offers an enjoyable bank holiday weekend mix of different folk dance traditions from many parts of the world.

English DanceOur extensive English programme of workshops and dances offers modern and historical dance (including Playford and other styles and eras) with a variety of live bands from England and/or the States.  There are English Balls on both Saturday and Sunday evening for which dancers are invited (but not obliged) to wear historical costume or formal dress. Entry is on a first-come-first-served basis (no advance tickets).

American DanceFestival-goers also enjoy a great selection of American contras and squares, again with a variety of live bands from England and/or the States.  These workshops and dances will be led by callers from the UK and/or the States.

International DancersOur International guests will teach dances from different regions of the world, with a special emphasis on the Balkans.  Owing to the range of tunes and styles involved in International dancing, workshops are mainly taught with recorded music; there is always live music for the evening dances.

But May Heydays also offers an eclectic mix of other dance styles, traditional and modern.  To give you a few examples, we may throw in French and Northern European couple dances, Jive, Lindy Hop, Cajun or Argentinean Tango.  In 2024 we had Regency, Indian and Egyptian dancing.

A further string to the festival's bow is our commitment to providing opportunities for Caller Training.  May Heydays will continue the Eastbourne tradition of offering club callers the chance to call for a festival audience.  There will be a Callers' Workshop, and later a Callers' Training Session followed by a Callers' Showcase with live music.  Please Contact Mecki if you are interested in taking up this opportunity.  The festival will also include a “Callers' Round” where callers can meet up and exchange notes, moderated by an experienced caller.

And last but not least: we added a dance-writing competition as a permanent feature.  Any choreographer can send in a dance as long as they follow the rules.  We have great fun trying out and discussing these new dances.  Callers and choreographers find this quite enlightening and dancers get to dance brand new dances!

As you can see, there are many photos and links to videos on this site.  If you don't want to appear in these, please make yourself known to our photographer at the time.

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Latest information

Monty announced that the 2024 Festival has made a small profit.

Roll on May Heydays 2025!