Ceilidh Band Essex

For anybody who is looking for a Ceilidh Band Essex area, either just click on any of the bands below or go to our Homepage and use our search facilities by choosing ‘East Anglia’ or ‘London’ in the drop boxes.

Bands in Essex

Barn Dance Band, Essex, North London (EA04)

4 musicians from Essex who believe that ceilidhs and barn dances should always be...

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Ceilidh and barn dance Band, Surrey, London (SE01)

A VERY exciting band – comprising Les – guitar / bass / bazouki Chris...

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Scottish Ceilidh London Essex Surrey Berkshire (CMsc4)

4 piece Scottish Ceilidh Band including caller Young and vibrant ceilidh band based in...

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Barn Dance Band, London, Essex, East Anglia (LN04)

Soil music – because it’s earthy! The band themselves coined this phrase to describe...

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Scottish Ceilidh Band, London, Berks, Hants (CEsc04)

Hands Up! Who remembers the film ‘Four Weddings and A Funeral’? Hugh Grant is,...

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Scottish Ceilidh, London, Southern England (LNsc05)

A top-notch 4 piece Scottish Ceilidh band! Who actually played at the Film Premiere...

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Ceilidh Band, London, Bucks, South England (LN08)

This extremely popular ceilidh band was founded in 1996 by Mick Bailey and grew...

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Barn Dance Band, Herts, Essex, North London (CE15)

This is a traditional style Barn Dance Band that operates in and around Hertfordshire...

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Scottish Country Dance and Ceilidh band East Anglia (EAscCR)

Scottish Country Dance and Ceilidh band from Essex ……who have, over the years, built...

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Ceili Band, London, Berkshire, Herts, Essex (LN09)

This extremely popular ceilidh band was founded in 1996 by Mick Bailey and grew...

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Ceilidh Band, Lincs, Yorks, Sheffield, Nottingham, (BNT)

Here’s some extremely gifted musicians. First there’s Simon (melodeon) and Nina (piano)….Simon has been...

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Ceilidh Band, Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Herts, London (EA05)

Based around Chelmsford, Essex, this is a well established, exciting ceilidh / barn dance...

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Jigs ‘N’ Reels is an agency which specialises in ceilidh bands (as well as barn dance and hoedown bands) and NOTHING ELSE. We have been doing this for around thirty years now and, simply, we know our game because that’s all that we do! We pride ourselves on making sure that our ceilidh bands will be suitable for your event and reliable with good equipment. Put it this way, if you’re looking for a ceilidh band in Essex you won’t get a hoedown band for your Scottish ceilidh from us!

We’ve tried to cover the main points below but please do raise any questions either via

1 – our enquiry form at https://jigsnreels.com/contact/ or

2 – by text or telephone on 0788 788 7917 or landline 01905 424411 and leave a message. We find that it helps to actually talk to people on the phone because a five minutes chat can give us a very good idea about your event and which ceilidh bands (or barn dance or hoedown bands) which would be most suitable for your event and budget.

Please bear in mind that there are many other bands which we represent and several ceilidh bands not even yet listed on our website.


Okay, so you want a ceilidh band Essex area but maybe not fully sure how to go about it. At least you used the word ceilidh so it’s probably safe to assume that you already have a pretty good idea of what’s involved. Our ceilidh bands are either based in Essex or may be based in the nearby counties of Suffolk, Hertfordshire or the northern reaches of the Greater London area. This means that they will be based relatively close to your chosen venue rather than travelling vast distances on congested roads (which also bumps up travelling expenses). It’s probably somewhat reassuring to know that our ceilidh bands always turn up (never had any horror stories in that respect) and that local knowledge probably has something to do with it.


This is nearly aways the first questions people ask – how much does a ceilidh band in Essex charge? On this page, it’s just not sensible to try to cover the fee scale of every band on our website (but please try the search box at the top of this page for more accurate pricing). For your budgeting, we would suggest that most smaller ceilidh bands of 3 performers including the caller run to between £450-£600, the larger ceilidh bands around £650-£1000. These are not exact quotations and prices do vary from band to band for several reasons (numbers in the band, travel expenses, the standard of their equipment, the band’s reputation).


Within any fees quoted, all the ceilidh bands would include all travel expenses to/from your venue, their own PA/amplification system, set up their gear during the hour before performing, then perform two sets of ceilidh or barn dance during an approximate 3 hour or so period (with an extended break at some point between sets for food/buffet arrangements or similar). But each event differs and yours may be working to a slightly different timetable. That’s fine, just point out what you have in mind and the ceilidh band can probably adjust to suit. There’s more about timings and other related points at  https://jigsnreels.com/have-a-great-night/


We expect most people know about the introduction of congestion and emission charges (or similar) in some of our cities particularly. Currently, we are not aware of these charges within Essex but of course such charges are being introduced in Greater London areas like Romford (whom many people still regard as being in Essex). And who is to say when places like Chelmsford or Colchester may start following suit? Such charges are a variable depending on the ‘where and when’ and are not included in quotations. Also, if a venue does not have its own parking area for performers and guests, your ceilidh band may have to use local pay-parking areas for the evening. To avoid any doubt, all band prices quoted will NOT include these types of variable costs (but we can check these costs for you once specific date, times and venue have been forwarded). The last thing anybody wants is confusion over the cost of booking your band, causing embarrassment on the night.

We need to clarify the situation regarding refreshments as well. Band members will have missed out on a traditional meal time whilst travelling, setting up their gear in readiness to perform at your event and would expect to be invited to partake free of charge in food and drink hospitality during the event.


We’ll start with the Caller. Any ceilidh band in Essex area will always include a Caller and the caller’s fee is always included within any quotations. This person might be one of the ceilidh bands’ musicians but usually he/she will be a separate individual who is mostly concerned with the actual dancing aspects of the night, explaining the moves of each dance to begin with and ‘calling’ reminders of these moves while each dance is in progress. A teacher, if you like, but NOT a classroom teacher. They will keep their banter light-hearted and won’t be upset if some of the dancers make mistakes or get the dance ‘wrong’. The whole idea is for the people involved to have FUN by participating, getting the hang of the moves within the dance and mixing with other dancers. Part of the caller’s role is to encourage a relaxed atmosphere and keep the dances to a level whereby just about anybody can join in. Our FAQs tab at the top of this page leads to several questions asked about the Caller.

Then there are the musicians.

We can offer some of the more ‘compact’ ceilidh bands to suit a more limited budget for, say, a fundraiser or a ceilidh party for limited numbers. Very often, these bands might be a trio including a caller or two musicians with their caller. These smaller line-ups take up little performance area. Also, some of the larger ceilidh bands are willing to downsize (especially during the less popular months) to suit those sorts of occasions.

But most ceilidh bands comprise at least three or four musicians and a caller. This allows more musical variety by way of instruments. Many of our ceilidh bands have a ‘squeezebox’ player (accordion or melodeon) or a fiddle as the lead instruments accompanied by other instruments like guitar, banjo, woodwind, keyboards/piano or drums. Of course, these larger bands provide a greater visible presence, a focal point (which is very handy when performing on a stage at venues). By the way, a stage is not an essential requirement for band performances.

And the actual dancing? If you are an experienced ceilidh-goer you’ll know all about the types of dances. For the less experienced dancers, they will be pleased to know that the dances are kept straightforward and simple, particularly during the early part of the night. That’s when the Caller is sussing out people’s responses, capabilities and enthusiasm. Dancing usually involves you and a dance partner dancing with other couples – so it is NOT line-dancing – in dance sets. The sets can take circle shapes, square sets and longways sets (in lines facing your partner). More often than not, you and your partner interact with other dance couples as well. In what are known as ‘progressive’ dances, you can ‘lose’ your partner and be switched to a new dance partner as an intended feature of the dance. All very touchy/feely – the phrase ‘ice-breaker’ has been used by many people to describe the inter-mingling effect.


Ceilidh bands, of course, sound very similar to barn dance bands and American style hoedown bands. Diddly-diddly and all that stuff! It’s a fact that the different genres overlap and most people would not notice much difference. But to the more attuned ear, there are differences which you can read about in more detail on our FAQs page listed above. The real point is that we will be able to provide a ceilidh band in Essex as well as any of the other styles of traditional dance bands in the area.

But here’s a very quick rundown of what our ceilidh bands do and how they can differ.

ENGLISH CEILIDH? Ever heard of that? Most people haven’t (except folk dance music devotees). Think to yourself – a Thomas Hardy harvest-time barn dance knees-up but with the music much more energetic and bursting with enthusiasm! Their music style can be from the British Isles, America, World Music and sometimes influences from Jazz or Ska – but all ‘very danceable-to’ These ceilidh bands might explain the whole thing far better if you listen to their music and many of them are very popular at the major folk festivals in the UK (and abroad).


Scottish style ceilidh bands fall into two levels. Within Essex we can provide the specialist Scottish Ceilidh bands who will only perform the music and dances from within the Scottish tradition for ceilidhs and Scottish Country Dance – what we call the ‘Strictly Scottish’ ceilidh bands. These bands will perform (either with their caller or the host’s own MC) to exacting dance music standards. As examples, dances may include ‘Eightsome Reel’, ‘Hamilton House’, ‘Posties Jig’.

However, if the names of those dances above mean nothing to you, don’t worry. For a Scottish style ceilidh, not everybody really needs a band that performs to those standards. Our ceilidh bands for Scottish nights will have a good repertoire of the more popular Scottish dances/music like ‘Gay Gordons’, ‘Dashing White Sergeant’, ‘Strip The Willow’ which, when mixed with other ceilidh dances, still provide a real Scottish flavour without the need for the dancing to be too exacting.

IRISH CEILIDH BANDS (or spelt ceili bands in the Irish tradition but the exact same pronunciation) do also perform in the Essex area. Their music is generally from the Irish ceili traditional style for performing several of the popular Irish dances like ‘Siege of Ennis’ or ‘Walls of Limerick’. Often the Irish bands also include a vocalist for song entertainment as well. But let’s be clear – these bands do NOT perform for Irish set-dances or ‘River Dance’ style Irish step dancing, both of which are a different matter altogether. Again, visit our FAQs page above for more detailed explanation.

FOLK ROCK CEILIDH BANDS have also emerged using electric guitars (as opposed to amplified acoustic guitars), bass instruments, keyboards and, of course, drums. Though the music is still mainly traditional tunes, they are given a heavier, harder, funkier sound and a lead electric guitar can be the lead instrument (though we haven’t heard that Clapton or Brian May have joined any ceilidh bands…yet!) These bands often include a vocalist for some ‘covers’ song entertainment as part of your ceilidh party. Also, they may use backing track music to enhance the overall sound experience.


ALL our ceilidh bands in Essex will provide their own PA/amplification systems. The only requirements that they expect the venue to provide would be electric standard domestic type square pin 13 amp sockets. Other than that, the band have their own extension cables, speakers and mixer deck and can easily control the volume to suit your event.

We also insist that all our ceilidh bands also have the standard insurances and test certification for their electric equipment. Many venues also insist on bands providing Public Liability Insurance cover (minimum £250,000) and PAT certification for electric gear.


Can we recommend somewhere in your area? What type of venue works best for your event? Obviously, there are stacks of venues in the Essex area. We cannot claim to know them all, naturally, and would hate to be accused of any particular bias either in favour or against (in public at least!).

For events like WEDDING RECEPTIONS, it’s sensible to check out some of the websites dedicated to such venues. Also, we realise that, for wedding receptions, it is important to consider so many other aspects for the day besides just booking your ceilidh band. In our FAQs pages, we go into more detail, however, about some choices facing you regarding room sizes, space required and which flooring works best (yep, all that sort of riveting reading!)

And will a ceilidh be a good idea for your wedding reception? We’ve covered all that in our FAQs as well!

When considering the more LOCAL FUNCTIONS like fundraiser events, local social nights, harvest suppers, clubs, parent/teachers or private party (like a birthday) we would advise checking out local school halls or village halls (and most local authorities can give you contact details for such places) or local sports club-houses/golf clubs.

And BARNS? Well, they can vary quite a lot, can’t they? There are quite a few dedicated function barns with all the types of usual facilities that you would expect in a hotel or modern functions centres. Working barns can be a different matter. They need to be clean, have electricity supply and some level flooring as well as shelter from the elements. An old rustic open-sided barn sounds great but just hope that the weather holds good for you.

HOTELS? Oh yes, hotels!

There are some fabulous hotel venues, especially for those really special events like wedding celebrations. They often offer extensive grounds, good parking facilities, overnight accommodation obviously and many have very good dedicated function rooms. Booking a hotel will be more expensive of course. Are you sure that is what you really want when considering a ceilidh?

Weddings apart, if you intend to book a hotel just for a ceilidh party, do let them know that your entertainment is to be ceilidh dancing rather than, say, a disco. We can think of some hotels who were not even sure what a ceilidh was. They expect you to dance on thick carpeted floors (which can be rather heavy going, dancing-wise) or they cover the dance area with their slightly raised interlocking parquet squares. These squares are really designed for disco dancing and cover hardly any area at all – not suitable at all for ceilidh dancing.  A cynic might say that they are more interested in protecting their carpet than ensuring that your party goes with a swing. And then, of course, they may have a sound limiter installed.

Yep, you’ve guessed it – the sound limiter and similar questions are also on our FAQs page.

We are looking forward to hearing from you.