Jiggerty Barn Dance and Ceilidh Band

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Frequently Asked Questions

What dances do you do?
What space do we need?
Do you supply your own PA?
Can we use your PA for speeches or to play our own music?
What parking and access do you require?
Do we need to provide refreshments for the band?
How can I book the band?
What if I need to cancel or rearrange my booking?

What dances do you do?

In a typical evening there is usually time for 8 to 10 dances.  As a rule of thumb each dance takes about 15 minutes in total, including the time to get dancers onto the dance floor, arranged into sets and learning the dance by walking through without music first.

We don't get hung up on what the difference is, say, between 'ceilidh' and 'barn dance' (you probably won't notice any), we just aim to do fun dances you'll enjoy.  But if you'd like a focus on a particular tradition or style, just ask.  For instance, we can provide a whole evening of traditional Scottish ceilidh - Gay Gordons, Dashing White Sergeant, Strip the Willow (Orcadian and/or normal variants), Cumberland Square Eight, Canadian (Highland) Barn Dance etc.

Typically we might start with Buttered Peas (a simple Northumbrian dance for 2 couple sets where you and your partner dance with a different couple each time) and Virginia Reel (a longways set dance popular in both Scottish & English traditions).  Common dances to end the evening with are Riverside Jig (a modern Scottish dance) and Circassian Circle (a traditional way to end Scottish ceilidhs; for weddings we have a customised variant that features the bridal couple in the middle of the circle).       Back

What space do we need? What sort of flooring should we have?

We are experienced in working with a variety of different spaces and can adjust dances accordingly to provide a fun evening of dancing, whatever the size and shape of the venue.  If you are in the process of selecting a venue, we recommend you look for a square or rectangular dance area with no obstructions or trip-hazards.

The size of dance floor needed will depend on the maximum number of people you will have dancing at one time - we suggest you allow approximately 1 square metre of dance floor per person.   For example, a typical church hall should provide a dance space of at least 7m width by 10m depth, which would be sufficient to accommodate approximately 70 dancers.

The band need a space ideally at least 3m wide by 2m deep plus space to the front on each side for our two PA speaker stands (approximately 1m2 floor area for each).  We recommend a stage is provided for the band if possible - this allows the band, and particularly the dance caller, to be seen and offers some protection to our sound equipment and instruments from the exuberance of the dancers.  The caller usually needs to be able to get onto the dance floor to help set up the dancers, so a low stage, or front steps for higher stages, is best.

A wooden floor is best for dancing.  However a portable disco dance floor laid over carpet is usually not large enough for ceilidh dancing and can cause people to trip as they dance over the edges, so it may be better to go without.  For marquees on a lawn, some form of flooring is usually needed, at least for the band, with hard flooring being preferable to matting (as this is usually made up of separate pieces tacked together, dancers easily catch their heels in the loose joins and fall).       Back

Do you supply your own PA?  Is it PAT-tested?  What power supply do you need?

Jiggerty comes with a full PA (Public Address) system, suitable for venues with a capacity of up to 250 people.  It draws less than 1kW which is easily provided by a normal mains supply. We require one standard mains power socket at the venue to plug into which should be not more than 5 metres away from the band’s performance area.  We can only agree to use an external generator as a power source (for example, in a marquee) if this has surge protection and has been supplied by a reputable company.  Any cabling/sockets used outdoors must be suitable for outdoor use – if in doubt, please seek the advice of a professional electrician.

We take our electrical safety and the protection of our PA equipment very seriously.  We always check the socket we are plugging into with a socket tester and will not use any socket which the tester shows is incorrectly wired.  We then plug in a Masterplug RCD adapter and a Surge Guard four socket extension lead before connecting our PA.  Our PA equipment is checked by visual inspection (as detailed on page 18 of the Health & Safety Executive INDG247 leaflet Electrical Safety for Entertainers and in Maintaining Portable and transportable electrical equipment) with additional electrical tests ('PAT test') where applicable.      Back

Can we use your PA for speeches or to play our own music?

We are happy to give you access to a microphone for speeches/announcements.  There would be no extra charge if required for a time when our PA is already set up for your event, e.g. in our half-time break, and can be arranged by speaking to us when we arrive.  If you need us to arrive earlier in order to provide this prior to the ceilidh (e.g. for wedding speeches), we would need to make an additional charge for our time.

We can play recorded music through the PA system when the band is having a half-time break for no extra charge - please provide us with music on CD or iPod/MP3 player).   We can also provide this facility at additional cost after the band has finished, for a ‘disco’ end to the evening (some disco lighting included) - please discuss this with us if you are interested.

We are also happy to set up our PA for your family/friends to provide a spot of musical entertainment - please discuss with us in advance to arrange.       Back

What parking and access do you require?

We require at least 1 standard size parking space as close to the performance area as possible, to provide a short, safe access route for the transportation of our sound equipment (or an unloading space next to the venue and a parking place near by).   Up to 3 parking spaces may be required as band members usually travel separately.   We like to have access to the performance area approximately 45 minutes before we are due to start playing, in order to set up and sound-check.  Please discuss with us if there are any flights of stairs on the access route of if there is likely to be a problem accessing the venue/performance area in advance of the performance time.      Back

Do we need to provide refreshments for the band?

For a typical event the band will be out of their houses for at least 6 hours (allowing for travelling, setting up, performance and packing up afterwards).   We would therefore appreciate you arranging refreshments for the band, equivalent to a meal and 2 drinks per person.   It is customary for the band to be invited to share in food and drink provided for guests unless this would be inappropriate.      Back

How can I book the band?

Please use the contact details given on our main page to check our availability and receive a tailored quote for your event.  We require a deposit to confirm a booking which should be sent within a week of your last contact with us, in order to be sure that we remain available for your chosen date - please contact us for details of how to pay this.   Once we have received your deposit we will send you a letter containing details of what we have agreed (date, venue, timings etc), to form a contract.      Back

What if I need to cancel or rearrange my booking?

Cancellations will incur the loss of your deposit.  Changing the date of your booking may be possible without penalty depending on how much notice we are given and whether we have turned away other work in the meantime.      Back

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