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by Knitter’s Jig Ceilidh Band © All rights reserved


If you are unsure what to expect from a ceilidh or barn dance please have a look at the section below which covers the majority of questions we have been asked in the past.

What is the Difference Between a Ceilidh and a Barn Dance?

Essentially very little - both are traditional dance forms, using a caller and folk music.  A ceilidh tends to have  more variety and a little more emphasis on the ‘Celtic’ tunes - perhaps giving it a bit more of an  edge??

Do We Need to Have Any Experience?

No!  This is one of the reasons why ceilidhs are such fun - absolutely no previous experience is required. You will run through each dance with the dance "Caller" before the dance proper begins. When the Caller thinks you are ready, he/she will summon the band to start the music and away you go. Instructions will continue to be given throughout the dance to help you.  The caller will not expect you to get every movement correct (in fact half the fun is getting it wrong and then trying to catch up) as long a you are somewhere near and enjoying yourselves.

Where Can We Hold a Ceilidh?

You can hold a ceilidh in almost any suitable sized function room. Social Clubs, Village Halls, Barns, Schools, Church Halls, Hotels, and Marquees are some of the favourites but provided you are prepared to risk the weather you can even hold one outside. The floor surface required should ideally be clear of obstructions, reasonably clean, level and with a hard surface.  For safety, it should not be slippery eg wet or highly polished.

Just give us a ring if you are in any way unsure and we will be happy to advise.

Do I Need to Provide Any Equipment?

The only thing we ask is that there is adequate lighting for both the band and dancers.  The band will bring its own Public Address (P.A.) system which will require a 230/240V  (13 amp) power supply.  If the event is to be held outside, the equipment and band will need some protection from the weather - our instruments don't like getting wet.  

How many people will I need to hold a dance?

You should aim for at least 40 plus.  This will give people a chance to have a rest or a drink without feeling obliged to take part in every dance just to make up the numbers. Don't forget that children love to dance so why not bring them along too. You could hold a dance with fewer people but they would all have to be very willing participants with stamina to match.  

Do Participants Need to Wear Anything Special?

As long as you wear 'sensible' shoes (no high heels) just about anything goes. Remember however, that you will be dancing, so loose casual clothing might be more comfortable - particularly when you start to warm up.

What Type of Music is Played?

The majority of the music we play is based on English, Scottish and Irish folk tunes, with a bit of American and French thrown in for good measure - whatever fits with the dances.  We do not play rap, garage, grunge and we definitely do not know any Elvis??

Will a Ceilidh Work Well with a Disco?

This is where there can be difficulties.  Having a Ceilidh and a Disco in one evening sounds like a good idea as it should cater for all tastes. However, if the evening is to work well, it is very important that the Ceilidh takes place during the first half of the evening, and the Disco takes over after the Ceilidh has finished.  Ceilidhs do not work well following, or sandwiched between, a disco.

Remember also that you will need separate areas for the disco and the band so that both can get set up and packed away without disturbing the other.  An alternative to a full disco is to hire the bands PA system and disco lights for after the ceilidh. You can then play whatever music you wish from you own Ipod/mp3 player or CDs etc to finish off the evening.

How Long Will the Ceilidh Last?

Most of the ceilidhs we do last between 2 and 3 hours with a short break midway but we are always happy to fit the evening around your particular requirements.  

How Much Does the Band Charge?

We have no standard charge. The cost will depend on event, location, venue and number of people attending. Other factors will be the day and time of the week, the time of year, and the travelling time and costs. Please contact us for a firm quote.

Can We Make a Provisional Booking?

Yes, of course.  If you are happy with the band and the quote but would prefer a little more time before committing yourself, we can make a provisional booking for you until you've made up your mind - but please confirm as soon as possible. Meanwhile, if the band is offered another booking for the same day, you will usually be given first option but we would of course want an immediate decision.

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