Set up and sound check

We require 45 minutes to set up and sound mix. We aim to arrive 15 minutes earlier to liaise with event team. So, normally we would arrive 1 hour before the commencement of the first set.

Keeping the noise down

Venues are very often required to install a noise limiter – local councils take neighbour’s complaints very seriously.

As a rough guide, our PA works at around 95dB, which is normally fine (for up to 8 hours), but do check with your venue. We will set our levels to be compliant when we sound check. Check out the Decibel Pro article for more info.

If you have an issue with noise levels, then consider having a Silent Ceilidh – it’s weird but great fun! There is no PA, the band plays acoustically and your guests wear headphones. The sound quality is wonderful. Very strange for anyone watching! Suitable for both indoor and outdoor functions. Please call us if this is an option for you.

Keeping cool

This is a challenge! Check with the venue that they have adequate air conditioning as your guests generally get very warm! Opening windows and doors is not always an option because that would let the sound out and disturb neighbours.

Space requirements for the band

The band will need a minimum of 1m per musician width and 2m depth. For example, a 3-piece + caller will require a ‘stage’ area of 4m wide and 2m deep. This does not include space for the PA speakers and stands, the placement of which we can be reasonably flexible.

Making space for the dancing

Imagine all your guests standing in a big circle and that will give you some idea of the space we need. The more space you give us, the more of your guests we’ll get dancing, that’s a promise!

Please check with your venue organiser that they appreciate how a ceilidh works and ask them to be prepared to remove more tables and chairs on the night.

As a guideline, use the dance floor calculator to give you some idea of the space you will require free of obstacles. Many of the venues, such as tipis and stately homes, have spaces that are ‘interesting’ – we like a challenge.

Measuring the available dance floor

What sort of dance floor do we need?

Any floor should be ok assuming we are allowed to dance on it. Small square ‘disco’ floors are actually more of a liability, as your guests end up dancing on and off the disco floor. From a health & safety viewpoint, we ask that you (ideally) do not lay a temporary disco floor that raises the level above the existing floor level.

Carpets slow us down but work fine. Marquee floors can be a challenge, coir matting and other coverings directly laid onto the ground have a tendency to ruck up unless securely fixed. Grass is actually fine as long as you fill in the rabbit holes and the ground is reasonably level and dry!

Technical needs

Please arrange with the venue for us to have 5/6 upright, armless chairs for the band’s use. We also require a 13A socket to be provided in the band area. Staging not necessary.

PLI & PAT certs

Most venues will ask to see our public liability insurance cover and PAT certificate, and occasionally our Risk Assessment & Method Statement. When we confirm the booking with you, we will provide you with a link to these documents, which you can forward to your venue organiser.

On the day…

On the day, our caller will come and introduce themselves and check timings, etc with you. They will also undertake a Risk Assessment of the dancing and band spaces to ensure that they are configured for a safe and fun event.