Setting 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, but do check with your venue. We will set our levels to be compliant when we sound check.

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.

More info on sound limiters

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 requirement 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.

BB Stage Plan 3-piece – typical setup


Making space for the dancers

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.

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 are actually more of a liability, as your guests end up dancing on and off the disco floor. Carpets slow us down but work.

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 if it is smaller than 6 x 6 metres.

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!

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.

  • Votes of Confidence