To check band availability, see if you can select your event date in the Event Date box below.
We will do our best to reply with prices for different combinations of band within 48 hours. If you have questions, firstly check our FAQs (tab above). All information treated in confidence.
If you have any problems with this form, use this version.
Are we available? Check here…
This is a live feed from our gig schedule: for reassurance, you can check your event here to see if your venue postcode shows for the correct date. If you’ve booked today, please allow 48 hours for your booking to appear (in the right place!).
Check out these common queries…
How do I book the Burdocks?
Firstly, submit the 'Enquire' form: when you select your date from the Enquire drop-down calendar your date will only be accepted if it is available.
We will email you a quotation with a link to the booking form: if you wish to proceed, click on the link in the email and submit the booking form.
Submitting the booking form automatically reserves the date for your event. Admin will process your booking and confirm that the booking has been accepted - this process can take a couple of days.
Once accepted, an invoice is sent out to you: payment of the deposit then forms a contract between the Burdock Band and yourselves.
Do we have to pay a deposit when booking?
Yes. Since September 2015, we're asking for a deposit of 50% (excluding travel). Please see Terms & Conditions for full details.
If the event is over 6 months away, we can accept several smaller instalments.
How do I check date availability?
What area of the UK do you cover?
From our base in South Birmingham, we can cover most of the Midlands and beyond, up to 2 hours travel, thanks to the excellent transport network. You can see the area we cover on the map on our Home page. We'll consider longer distances, so worth asking.
What size band do you recommend?
This depends very much on your budget and your venue. A full band can take quite a bit of space, whereas a 3-piece can be easily accommodated. With each band, we ensure an element of melody, harmony and rhythm, which can be achieved with a variety of combinations. If you want the band to entertain you outside the dance sets then a larger band is recommended.
How long do you play for?
We usually do two sets between 45 and 90 minutes in length, 3 hours dancing/instrumentals maximum. The break between depends on what activity you have planned: if you are serving a buffet, then you probably need a good 45 minutes break between sets.
Do we book you by the hour?
No, we don't normally price by the hour except for schools and corporate workshops. The price we give you (weddings, civil partnerships and parties) is for either a day or evening slot on your chosen day.
Can we book the band only?
Yes! When you submit the Enquiry Form, select 'band only' in the 'Requirements' box.
Is the caller available independently?
Yes. our callers work with other ceilidh bands; they can also use recorded music when a band is not required. When you submit the Enquiry Form, select 'caller only' in the 'Requirements' box
Who are the dances suitable for?
Unless you ask for a challenge, we keep the dances very simple: we want all your guests to feel comfortable with joining in. Each dance is introduced with a short walk-through so your guests have a grasp of the basic moves. The dances don't have any complicated footwork, the moves are very simple. After all, the dances are firstly about having fun together!
Of course, your more experienced guests will add fancy turns and impressive steps, so they'll have fun too.
What is a Celtic band?
Well the definition on Wikipedia for Celtic music says it all really. Our music and instrumentation leans towards the Irish session tradition and the dances to the Scottish ceilidh. It's probably right to say our sound is more Irish than English or Scottish. We're also influenced by Klezmer and French/Breton traditions. For a barn dance, we look to the American repertoire for reels and jigs.
That said, we've performed an eclectic range of music including The Snowman, Zorba the Greek and Stéphane Grappelli tunes, and accompanied our guests singing Mumford & Sons and Cosmo Jarvis.
What instrumentation do we get in a 3/4-piece band?
A 3-piece consists of fiddle/accordian, guitar/accordian, and bodhrán/hand drums. The aim is to achieve a balance of strong melody supported by harmony and rhythm.
A 4-piece will normally include fiddle, accordion and guitar. Our musicians do play other instruments, so you may get hurdy gurdy, mandolin, whistles, etc on certain tunes.
Do you play Scottish dances and tunes ?
Yes, many of the dances we use are from the Scottish ceilidh repertoire, for example, Strip the Willow, Gay Gordons, Circassian, Virginia Reel, Cumberland Sq 8, Canadian Barn Dance and Dashing White Sergeant to name a few. If you're up for a challenge, then we might have a go at the Eightsome Reel.
If you are doing a Scottish theme or Burns Night then we'll use Scottish tunes too.
Are you available for special events, such as NYE?
Yes, we regularly do Hogmaney, Burns Night, St. Patrick's, and perform at street parties and festivals. If you have a particular idea in mind, give us a call.
Can you provide a disco?
The simple answer is no, it's not in our core skill set! However, with our larger bands, we can arrange, for a small fee, for a band member to remain behind with our PA. Some of our wedding clients (with the help of guests) prefer to DJ their own disco, and that works very well.
A note on combining a ceilidh with a disco: if you have a DJ playing throughout the evening, we recommend the following:
Before the ceilidh: Anticipatory music, non dancing
Between ceilidh sets: Calming music, non dancing
Immediately after the ceilidh: High energy dancing
A good DJ will naturally do this, but it's worth knowing in case you are providing the playlist(s).
Do you offer discounts?
YES! We offer discounts through selected venues, so check to see if we are on your venue's 'approved suppliers' page; if not, persuade them to put us on their website and we'll offer you a discount! Look out for special offers on our Facebook page.
Can we see the Burdocks in action before we book?
This is a difficult one! In theory, yes, if we have a public event available. Sometimes, it's possible to get you into a private gig. Best to check our schedule on the tab above and see what is coming up.
We ask clients to post their reviews on our Facebook page, so you could contact them directly.
What are your Terms & Conditions?
Terms & Conditions
Payment of a deposit secures the booking as you submitted online for your event. Small changes, e.g. change of venue (within 25 miles of the original venue) and timings can be accommodated up to 10 days before the event. Change of event date constitutes a cancellation unless The Burdock Band can agree to the new date.
To secure your booking, you will be asked to transfer a deposit of 50%* of total fee (excluding travel costs). The final balance will be due payable at least 30 days before the event, OR the full amount is due immediately if there are less than 30 days to your event date.
*The deposit may be paid in smaller instalments if over 12 months to your event.
In the unlikely event of cancellation of this booking by The Burdock Band, the artist, the deposit will be refunded to you in full.
In the event of cancellation by you, the client, if cancellation is between 121-180 days prior to the performance, 25% of the total fee (excluding travel) shall be payable to the artist. If cancellation is between 61–120 days, 50% of the total fee above (excluding travel) shall be payable to the artist. If the cancellation is within 31-60 days, the amount shall be 75%. If the cancellation is within 0-30 days, the amount shall be 100%.
Will our guests dance?
YES! We have ways of encouraging them to get involved and can guarantee a large percentage of your guests will participate in at least one dance.
Ceilidh in a traditional wedding dress?
We want you to really enjoy the dancing with your guests. Traditional dresses are a challenge: yes, they say they'll put a hook on so you can dance but 99% of the time they fail to meet expectations! So, please, please, please think of an alternative strategy. Either, perhaps consider changing your outfit for the Ceilidh, or find a more secure means of 'strapping up' the dress so you'll be able to fully immerse yourself in the experience.
What suggestions for 1st dance?
Here are some thoughts:
In the 1st option, we leave you to your own dance (and DJ): if you so wish, we can play your IPOD playlist through our PA system.
The 2nd is the simplest: we invite all your guests to join you in either a Circassian (circle) or Galopede (longways) type dance (so no focus on the couple).
If time allows, our caller can meet up with you about 30 mins before the Ceilidh and teach you and/or your entourage a simple but impressive show dance to perform in front of your guests. You can see a (brief) example at the end of Deb & Sean's wedding video.
How much dancing should we have?
It really depends on what role you envisage the Ceilidh playing in your celebrations. We know it's a marvellous way to socialise and have fun together with your guests, and it's great fun for us too.
For a typical setup, we recommend two 60 minute sets with a break between of 15 to 45 minutes, the latter if you are providing a buffet.
What dances do you use at a wedding / civil partnership?
This really depends on your theme, and circumstances on the night. We have special wedding dances designed to bring the day to a theatrical climax. If you have other ideas, tell us what you have in mind and we'll design a dance set and music to suit.
How long does the band need for setting up?
We require 45 minutes to set up and sound mix. We aim to arrive 15 minutes early to liaise with event team.
What space do we require to place 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.
What sort of dance floor do we need?
Any floor should be fine assuming we are allowed to dance on it. Small square 'disco' floors that the venues sometimes charge you extra to install are not necessary and 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 do not lay a wooden square disco floor that raises the level above the existing floor level.
Marquee floors can be a challenge, carpets and other coverings directly laid onto the ground tend 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!
How big a dance floor do you require?
As big as you can make it: imagine all your guests standing in a big circle and that will give you some idea. The more space you give us, the more of your guests we'll get dancing, that's a promise! Be prepared to remove more tables and chairs on the night.
Do you provide lighting?
Do you carry Public Liability Insurance, and is your equipment PAT certified?
Yes. You can download the documents from the footer below, or send the website link to your venue organiser.
The whole evening was a huge success and we raised exactly £1000 for the charity. We have actually been blown away by the positive feedback we have had from people saying how much they enjoyed the evening, and not surprisingly many commented that having both excellent musicians and a caller who engaged with the audience made the evening especially enjoyable.- Marie Curie Cancer Care Fundraising Group
Thank you so very much for making the evening so much fun and very special, we received glowing reviews from our guests and the only complaint was that they wanted more of you! I would recommend your band and should I ever have a party in the future I would definitely book you again.- Catherine (wedding)
We had a group of people who didn’t know each other too well and it was a great way to really break the ice and create an easy atmosphere. Party was really fabulous and refreshing change to have Ceilidh dancing. Fantastic event last night, something a bit different.- The Children's Society
We all had a fantastic night at my 30th birthday party, I danced all night and as people got into the swing of things I don’t think there was a space free on the dance floor… my friends are still talking about it now.- Faye, Stockton Football Club
Firstly thanks for being brilliant last night. What a great evening… Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. We were really chuffed with how well you involved the kids and got everyone up and going from the very start.- Tracey & Michael
Wow! We just wanted to say a huge thank you to you all for helping to make our big day so special, and for indulging D in his eccentric requests! All of our guests enjoyed the Ceilidh and have commented that the music, and patient guidance, were just fantastic – helping to make our day so very special.- Duncan & Maciak