In 2019 and for over 30 years before, similar dances have been offered once a month on a Saturday night during except during summer. This was the second scheduled event this winter although the first in January was cancelled.
In years gone by, entry was usually by cash on the door and numbers could go over 100 although occasionally they were much lower. This event was limited to 80 tickets bought online in advance. All 80 tickets were sold and I know at least two people who missed out.
Quite a few of the dancers were people who would have been there in 2019 but there were a lot of first timers - and that wouldn't have been so unusual prior to the pandemic.
The organisers were keen to be "Covid-safe", all stewards were masked-up and there was guidance on the website:
Covid-19 Safety Guidance
We know that we need to keep everyone who wants to come to our dances as safe as possible. Our safety guidance for everyone attending is this:
- If you have Covid symptoms please don’t come. If you have bought a ticket, we will refund you, no questions asked.
- All of Oxfolk’s volunteers will have done lateral flow tests before the ceilidh to keep you safe, and we ask you to do the same. Ideally, do your test in the hour before you leave for the ceilidh, and certainly not more than 48 hours beforehand. Home-test kits are free, and available here (also available to collect from many pharmacies).
- We are restricting the number of tickets we sell.
- The hall will be ventilated.
- Sanitizer and hand washing facilities will be available
I saw one dancer (who looked to be early teenage) masked up. Instead of draft beer at the bar, it was offered in bottles. There were a few old signs urging 2m social distance.
Overall, it was almost completely back to 2019-style.