Specialist organisers of barn dance bands, ceilidh bands and folk/dance/concert groups throughout the UK

© 2018 Jigs 'n' Reels

Jigs 'n' Reels, 'Homeleigh', Claphill Lane, Rushwick, Worcester WR2 5TP

Call or Text brief enquiry to 0788 788 7917

How long do ceilidhs or barn dances last?

To a large degree at private events, the client calls the shots as to the timings for an event. Generally, a time-frame of 3 to 3 ½ hours (with a break of approx 30/45 minutes somewhere in the evening) works well. That is usually enough for most dancers and about right for the musicians.

A typical night might run something like this – the band starts up at, say, 8pm sending out the message that live music and dancing is about to start. After about an hour of music and dancing has elapsed, a break for a buffet or ‘nibbles’ or similar is commonplace…..which the band will also treat as their natural break (whilst the band’s recorded music plays in the background). Then, it’s back to the music and dancing until the end of the night at around 11pm or 11.30pm.The majority of the bands work on this type of model. In some cases, bands will play on until Midnight. Other bands consider that 2 x 1 hour dance sessions is plenty….so this can vary a little from band to band. And sometimes, that is a good judgement, especially if the night is being mixed with a disco to follow the ceilidh. Of course, bands will play for far less time if that is the client's wish but the fee will probably be unaffected. For bands to perform BEYOND Midnight is somewhat unusual and would probably involve extra charges. Also, most inexperienced dancers would find that four hours of dancing, with just a short break, is very tiring if they are not used to it.

Of course, ceilidhs for enthusiasts who regularly attend ceilidh events would probably involve more dancing and less break periods – but these folks expect dancing to that level where the dancing is the main focus and the socialising side of the night is somewhat secondary.

And maybe ,at this point, we should spare a thought for the musicians. Let’s assume that they have travelled one hour to get to the event. Somebody has already loaded up, travelled and set up the equipment, performed over a 4 hour period…then packs down the gear, loads up again, travels home and unloads the gear to a safe place. For somebody, performing 8pm till Midnight means….loading the vehicle at 4pm and then his head hitting the sack at gone 2am !!!