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Maggoty Ceilidh Band

Advice on planning your Ceilidh

What do I need to provide?


Obviously, willing participants! Give everyone an idea of what's planned - and that they are expected to get up and have a go. Drumming up some enthusiasm beforehand and then, on the night, the hosts leading the way onto the dance floor helps get the evening off to a running start. Having a few people who have some idea of barn dances always helps but isn't essential.


We've played in all sorts of places! Church halls, village halls, hotels, school halls, marquees, fields - even barns. You'll need quite a large dance area that's reasonably flat. The temporary dance floors that go down on top of carpets often aren't really big enough and you run the risk of dancers tripping on the edge in their enthusiasm. Also it's good to have a stage big enough to fit all six in the band plus a caller plus all our paraphernalia but, if needs be, we'll fit in a big corner. We'll need an electric socket and around an hour or so to set up the PA - that's about it.

Picture Jubilee Ceilidh Dancers
What about children?

Let us know if there'll be several children and we'll pick a caller who enjoys working with the little ones. Ceilidhs are popular for PTA events, either for the kiddies as an experience of how much better live music is than their teacher's scratchy gramophone or as a fund raising event for parents to let their hair down. Probably best to choose one or the other though if you want to avoid frequent reminders from Little Willy of when Daddy went swinging with Miss Pettipiece.

Picture Jubilee Ceilidh Dancers

Food and drink?

Dancing is thirsty work so you'll need a bar or ask people to bring their own drink. Playing tunes gives you a very dry throat so the band always appreciate a drink or two. A food break half way through the evening is a good idea - it gives people chance to sit down for a few minutes, catch their breath and have a chat.

Shall I combine the ceilidh with a disco?

If you really must! However don't split the evening up too much. It's much better to have the ceilidh then move on to a disco rather than alternating between the two.