Skip to content

Evaluation of the 1st international – online – ceilidh (june 14, 2020)

Dear friends,

Many of you may already know that I had a heart attack last February. That was of course a shock, but it was also a very big gift, because I realized how precious time is.

Before the attack, I had only dreams about organizing events like yesterday’s. I had always forced myself to wait until I was a more experienced storyteller and I would probably like to take a crash course in English first.

Now that I realize that days are really numbered, I reached out and found….


After about a month of preparation, meeting new storytellers via Facebook and hundreds of emails, yesterday was the day of the first try-out of the international – online – ceilidh.

Did it bring me what I had hoped for?

Absolutely not!

It brought me much, much more.

It felt a bit like finding family after living in an orphanage for years. You made me feel at home from the first moment.

So yesterday we were in Zoom with about 50 people.

There was only a time for just 9 of us (Philippa Namutebi Kabali-Kagwa from Capetown – South Africa, Michael Kerins from Glasgow – Scotland, Martin Manasse from Newcastle upon Tyne – UK, Mats Rehman from Stockholm – Sweden, Sef Townsend from London – UK, Rosie Mapplebeck from Ayr – Scotland, Steve Lally from Kildare – Ireland, Tamara Spitzing from Freiburg – Germany and Tom van Mieghem from Sinaï – Belgium). After every 2 stories there was some music (Ayesha and David Hills from Ramsbottom – UK, Joel Hernandez, Calexico – Mexico, myself and last but not least Meidi Goh, who are both local here in the Netherlands), to clear our minds for more stories.I think the balance between music and stories was pretty good. I kept the introductions as short as possible, but long enough to break the ice of the future artist so that we could use the time for the stories as much as possible. (That is also something to remember, since there seems to be a full alphabet on the tip of my tongue, which has its own will.)

I asked in advance which storytellers wanted their names in the hat (26 storytellers!), Which meant that I had to disappoint 17 people. I found that very annoying, although no one complained.

It just didn’t feel right to have asked so many people to tell a story and then have faith figure out who gets a turn.

What if there was no hat at a next tryout (july 12)?

Instead, I could invite everyone to send me private messages – live in the event – and say, “I want the next slot.” The person who would claim first would be the next artist. So after every story, the chance of a slot would be the same for everyone. In addition, it could offer us the opportunity to return to previously told stories in our stories. It could still be a 2-hour event, as long as storytellers continue to volunteer to tell a story. Otherwise we would be ready early.. (feedback please!)

Then there is the topic of filming the event.

During the event I was asked if I was recording or would allow that and then I got questions (from people who could not be present) about recordings.

Until now I have always been against filming the online ceilidhs, to preserve the uniqueness of each telling moment. On the other hand, people live in different time zones, but may still want to be part of the same international – online – ceilidh community.

Then filming might add a possibility. (Perhaps in the Far East one could even send in pre-filmed stories and thus still participate?) So, I would like to know, how many of you would see it as a treat, to be filmed and who would see it as a threat. (So again: feedback please!)

Then there is the promotion of the event.

Facebook tells me that I have reached my invitee quota. They now only let me invite 50 people to an event. I would organize too many events, they say. They say you could mistake my invitations for spam. At the same time, they offer me (paid) advertising space to promote my events, but that just is no option for me. So I’m asking you to do the promotion with me. Please contact your own network to co-create an international – online – ceilidh community as diverse as life itself.

That is it for now friends, I look forward to your feedbacks.

Oh and before I forget, let me know, if you want me to get your email from the list. Then I will no longer bother you with messages about future ceilidhs.

Warm greetings from Amsterdam,


Back To Top