This can be a stressful time for the event organiser. To eliminate surprises, here’s a guide on what to expect…
The caller/band will require up to an hour to set up and sound check – make sure there is someone who will let them into the building. It is really helpful if a few parking spaces are reserved nearest to the door used to access the stage area. The band usually has a leader who will, together with the caller, introduce themselves to the organiser when they arrive.
Prepare the hall. It is best to have any seating around the outside edge of the dance area – leave as much space for the dancing. Avoid too many tables unless food is being served. Barn dances require more floor space and ambient light than for discos or other kinds of dances. Make sure there is adequate light to dance by – dim lighting or solo disco rigs are not ideal.
As a caller, I will always take a look around the venue, identify the facilities and conduct a risk assessment. It is always a good idea to inform the caller at what time (for an evening dance) the music MUST be switched off due to community noise restrictions.
The entire dance is usually directed by the caller unless there is a ‘Master of Ceremonies’ attending. Pass any special requirements to the caller (or MC). These may include arrangements for:-
- demonstrations or the first dance of the bride & groom etc
- intervals for food, birthday cake, cutting of the cake etc.
You will find that me and the band are very flexible when it comes to timings. They never go exactly to plan!
It is customary and always appreciated by the caller/band to be included in any refreshments and catering offered during the dance.
After the dance, the band will need about 30 minutes to pack up their kit. For more information and advice on what happens at a ceilidh and what to expect – see my Top Tips section.
I will usually speak with the organiser after the dancing for feedback (good or otherwise!) so my next event can be even better. Maybe you could email me your testimonial or a photo to put on my site?
Finally, before I leave I will touch base with you to settle up any payments still outstanding.