In Glasgow Ceilidh news this summer, we have been fortunate to secure a great run of events with Merchant Square. At the epicentre of Glasgow’s happening bar and night-life, Merchant Square also has another side to its events: the conference event takeover!

Glasgow Convention Bureau do a great job of attracting large conferences to the city. And by good job, I mean they have been named top conference bureau in the UK 12 years running by the Meeting and Incentive Travel Awards

Over the course of each summer, conference organisers are looking to find a venue that can easily accommodate a conference audience of up to 1500 people. 1500 people that descend at once, sit down for dinner, and then watch Scottish culture come alive through music and dancing, as a highlight of the conferences Social Program, which are often at the Scottish Event Campus.

Merchant Square’s range of dining establishments closes for the night to allow for the conference events. Black Box Pro Audio set up a stage, lighting and PA system.

The band who have been asked back time and time again are the rock-and-pop Ceilidh band Scraggly Cats. Their simple ceilidh dancing walk-throughs work well for uninitiated ceilidh clients. This is especially relevant with conference audiences, where the band deals with up to 1500 ceilidh rookies at the same time. 

To vary the entertainment and allow for a mix between Scottish cultural dancing and pure pop and rock, then band then plays a set of pop and rock classics. This is a specially curated mix of tunes that are recognised worldwide!

The 2019 conferences at Merchant Square are:

12th June – Offshore Mechanics & Arctic Engineering (OMAE), 1000 guests

10th July – CAP Partner – Federation of European Microbiologists (FEMS) 2019 Congress of European Microbiologists, 800 guests

18th July – International Society for Molecular Plant-Microbe (ISMPMI), 1300 guests

1st Aug – International Nuclear Physics Conference (INPC) 2019, 800 guests

4th Sept – European Conference on Applied Superconductivity (EUCAS) 2019, 1000 guests

8th Oct – The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)’s International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS) 2019, 1000 guests

5900 people from 36 countries over 6 nights in Glasgow Ceilidh dancing. Strangers coming together in an embrace of Scottish culture across disciplines, nations, and languages. Resulting in 8 spectacular nights.

Thanks to Black Box Audio for the amazing sound and light for the events, and to Jenni and the Merchant Square Team for putting the conference events on.


We had a great time at ceilidh number 5, the EUCAS conference on the 4th September. The attendees were enthusiastic and great fun. Without much ceilidh dancing experience, they got stuck in and danced their lab coats off. Check out some of the fun from that night below: