ADERYN PRIN CEILIDH BAND - BARN DANCE BAND - BAND TWMPATH DAWNS - Frequently Asked Questions
If you’ve never organised a ceilidh before - or would like your next one to be the best one yet - then please read the FAQ
YES. Our caller will talk through or 'call' all the dances step-by-step, slowly, and clearly - then will continue if needed during the dance. We usually find most at ceilidhs there is a mixture of experienced dancers and novices – though sometimes we find that no one in the audience has ever been to a ceilidh before! The art is striking a fun balance between instruction and participation and so we treat every ceilidh on an individual basis. The amount of fun to be had does NOT equate with how well you do the dances!
According to research from Brides Magazine, ceilidhs (or barn dances) are the second most popular form of wedding entertainment in the country.
A survey conducted on brides before and after the event makes interesting reading. During the planning of the wedding the reception is the most important priority, not entertainment – but surveyed subsequently almost 78% of brides say with hindsight, they would have spent more of their budget on entertainment.
And of guests surveyed, 81% say the entertainment is the part they remember most about the wedding.
Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t. We'd advise considering seriously if this would really be a plus to your guests and their evening, and if the answer is a resounding yes - not maybe - then go ahead. For the evening to work well, it definitely is best if the Ceilidh is the first part of the evening, and the Disco takes over entirely after the Ceilidh finishes. Alternating short spots of Ceilidh, then Disco, then Ceilidh does NOT work, believe us! You need to make sure that both ourselves and the DJ have enough space to set up – it’s a good idea to situate us in a position which will enable an easy exit so once the we have finished and packed up our equipment and instruments, we can leave without disturbing the Disco. And 10-15 minutes of packing up time before the DJ starts and the lights go dim is very much appreciated!
Generally, between 1 and about 4 hours of this style of dancing is usually just right. When deciding the start time for a wedding Ceilidh, please bear in mind that you need to allow much more time than you might expect for everything else happening during the day. A rough guide is 5 and a half to 6 hours from the ceremony time to the evening party getting started, longer than you might think. The photos, greetings and drinks, the meal - and especially the speeches - take up the time! Unless you take this into account, the Ceilidh will start later than you’ve planned. We like to set up immediately prior to the agreed start time and are able to set up quickly and discreetly in about 30 minutes maximum. We don’t usually set up earlier in the day, unless it is reflected in the fee – since it means adding several further hours of commitment to the 8-10 hours already set aside for the evening! (From packing the car, traveling to the venue, unpacking, setting up, playing, packing up, the journey home and unpacking the car – time adds up - and many people overlook this . . . !)
There are some MP3 tracks here which will give you an idea of the kind of style we play in and our proficiency! If you have trouble playing them, please ask - email or phone - and we’ll be very pleased to send you a CD
Ordinarily as far south as mid Wales, and over to Cheshire and Shropshire. We do occasionally exceed this but either accommodation has to be provided, or the fee adjusted to reflect overnight costs.
We would really advise getting in touch immediately – enquiries come in all the time. If you are the first to contact us about a specific date we have a policy of holding it for you until confirmation. Most clients book 3 to 6 months ahead and usually are able to reserve us for the date they want, although at any time we have bookings for more than a year ahead.
First, by getting in touch with us here and discussing your requirements - once all the finer details have been discussed and agreed, we confirm the booking in writing. We send out a detailed confirmation letter and a short and clear Booking Form for you to approve, complete, sign and return. You keep the letter (and make a copy of the forms if you wish), and then everyone has something in writing. A map of how to get to your venue is often very useful and can be sent back with the Booking Form, along with a deposit or booking fee of £ 75.00 to secure the date. Bookings are subject to a cancellation clause, an overtime clause, and various other terms and conditions clearly stated in the confirmation paperwork. Once the completed Booking Form and deposit are received back from you, then the booking is definite and confirmed. Only serious illness or accident on the day would prevent the event happening as agreed, and then the band – or the caller - would do our utmost to find a replacement.
We charge per evening, not per hour, so the cost will be the same, how ever long or short a period of time the band is booked to play during an evening. Other factors which will sometimes influence the cost will be whether it is a “prime date” like St Patrick’s Day, or Burns Night, New Years Eve or Hogmanay etc.
We ask for a deposit / booking fee up front when the booking is confirmed, with the balance payable to the band on the day. We don’t offer a credit card facility and don’t actually know any Ceilidh bands that do, so your deposit is payable by cheque and then the balance are paid in cash to the band on the day. This is the preferred method of payment; however a cheque for the balance would also be acceptable.
Certainly, just let us know what it is. Or you might want to give us a CD of a favorite track, for example, to start the evening off?
We supply enough volume for the dancers while allowing the guests who want to sit and chat to do so. If you want more or less volume then just let us know on the night. We are quieter than a disco - the priority when choosing our sound equipment was sweetness and clarity, rather than high sound levels.
Lucky Seven, Oxo Reel, Cumberland Square Eight, Beaumaris Bump, Clopton Bridge. And others too - sometimes we’ll include Scottish favourites like Dashing White Sergeant, Gay Gordons or Canadian Barn Dance. Bridge of Athlone and Waves of Tory are popular Irish dances. And Strip the Willow is a perennial favourite.
Hoedown, Dawns Twmpath, Barn Dance, Ceilidh or Ceili - We are very experienced at playing different styles of dances with their appropriate tunes - this isn’t a problem.
Our caller will be happy to call more challenging and difficult dances if there are experienced dancers present.
We have played in venues from stately homes to a gazebo in a farmyard! Enough space is the key to success – and if in a marquee, then a marquee without internal poles on the dance area and a level wooden floor works best.
Again and again at our dances we see children of all ages getting up, dancing and having a great time. Our caller always makes them welcome on the floor, and takes particular pains to ensure they understand the dance.
We’ve played at weddings, parties, anniversaries, Christmas knees ups, festivals, Burns nights, St Patrick's Nights, Corporate entertainments, fund-raising events and children's parties. And seen the New Year in once or twice! These are all the sorts of events for which a ceilidh is eminently suitable. Dances are ideal for getting groups to mix together; they might be two families meeting for a wedding, or colleagues and partners at an office party. You only have to look at the smiles on their faces to be sure those that join in are enjoying themselves even if they are getting it wrong (there are even those of the opinion that this is MORE fun than getting it right).
We organize a dance or two a year for charities we support, so having some experience we can confirm that ceilidhs are a great way of fundraising, especially as costs can be lower than you might think. And have a look at the article on the blog pages called Saturday Night Freebie.
Note that there are opportunities on the night to raise further sums by raffles, sliding pound coins at a whisky bottle, auctions of promises etc. Catering costs and organisational difficulties can be minimized by having guests each bring a dish to share. But do advertise widely, continuously (and imaginatively) for at least a couple of months before – if you leave it until there’s only a fortnight to go you’ll find that diaries are full.
Yes, we have Public Liability Insurance, and our equipment is PAT tested.