Shave the Donkey at Bunbury

Barn dance? Ceilidh? Which do I want?

Barn dances, country dances and ceilidhs, are all basically the same thing, unless you are a dedicated folk dancer. Find out more on this page.

We’ve never done it before, does it matter?

No!  This is one of the reasons why ceilidhs are such fun – absolutely no previous experience is required. Our caller will walk through each dance with you before the dance itself starts, and provide encouragement and help as it progresses.

Find out more on this page.

 What locations are suitable for a ceilidh?

You can hold a ceilidh in almost any suitably sized function room. Village halls, schools, church halls, hotels, and marquees are the most common types of venues, although some like to hold a barn dance in a barn! Outdoor events are possible (see image above!), provided contingency plans are in place for the British weather.

The floor itself needs to be level and clear of obstructions to avoid trip hazards, reasonably clean,  and with a hard surface.  Similarly, to avoid accidents through slipping, floors should not be highly polished (or wet!).

If you are not sure about a venue’s suitability, give us a call and we will be happy to advise.

 What do we need to provide ?

A suitable venue and group of people wanting to have an enjoyable time! Other than that, the only thing we need is a standard power supply (13A) for our PA, and adequate lighting for both the band and dancers.

What do we wear?

Anything is possible! Sensible shoes – high heels are definitely not advisable. As you will be dancing, loose casual clothing is likely to be more comfortable particularly as things start to warm up, although we realise that may not necessarily be possible!

What type of music will you play?

The majority of the music we play is based on English folk tunes, with a number of Scottish, Irish and American tunes added to mix things up a bit – what is important is that the tunes fit the dances.   

We were thinking of having a disco as well, would that work?

This is quite a common request, particularly for wedding receptions where the bride and groom wish to cater for all tastes. The answer is “Yes, with planning”.

In our experience, for the evening 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.

Another consideration is that both the disco and the band will have separate PA systems. Ideally you should plan separate areas for the disco and the band so that both can get set up and packed away without disturbing the other.

 How long will it last?

Most ceilidhs typically last around 3 hours with a short break midway, but we always plan the evening with the organisers around their requirements for their event.

What are the costs?

The cost will depend upon the type of event, its location, venue and number of people attending. Please contact us to discuss your specific requirements and we’ll be happy to give you a firm quote.

 Can we make a Provisional Booking?

Yes, of course.  If you are happy with the band and our quote but would prefer a little more time before committing yourself, we will take a provisional booking from you while you make up your mind – but we do ask that you confirm as soon as possible, and definitely within 1 month.  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.