Geoff Wright, Bracken Rigg Band Accordion David Dean, Bracken Rigg Band Fiddle
BRACKEN RIGG BARN DANCE BAND

TICKLIST TO ORGANISE A BARN DANCE OR CEILIDH

Question. What is Bracken Rigg?

Brackenrigg on old map Answer. A hill in the Lake District?


WRONG, It is South Yorkshire's most popular traditional accordion
band, playing for Barn Dances and Ceilidhs for over 25 years

TICKLIST TO ORGANISE A BARN DANCE OR CEILIDH

Naturally, we are very happy to advise on any aspect of organising a barn dance
Please feel free to get in touch and we will do our best to help


DISCO - SAY NO!

Over the decades, we have found it does not work to mix discos and Barn Dances.
It is a fallacy that under-twenties only want discos - why do we play for so many Youth Clubs?
Another fallacy - discos encourage everyone to get up and dance - if no one dances , the music just gets louder.
A disco and a band cannot fit into one end of a room or on to a stage.
The band need to pack up at the end of the evening and cannot to it in the dark, despite the flashing lights.
At the start of the evening, the band have instruments to tune and P.A. to check - this cannot be done whilst other loud music is going on.
As musicians we value our hearing and yours! - if you suffer hearing loss from the disco, you will not be able to hear us!
If you have come to a dance without a partner, does the disco give you the chance to dance with everyone in the room?
If you feel a desperate need for a disco, get a caller who does barn dances to records / CDs - You might enjoy yourself and book a band next time.

Rant over.

BOOK THE BARN DANCE VENUE

Pick a number of dates when the majority of people can attend.

Is the venue available?

Advertise the event a.s.a.p. in event listings everywhere so other organisations don't book the same date
Starting time - normally 8p.m. - be realistic on a Friday - will people actually come out at 7.30?
Finish time - do you need to clear up and be out for midnight?

LIGHTS OUT!

Wherever we play, without exception, someone wants to play with the lights.
This is not to be encouraged in the middle of a dance - bands have been known to stop playing.
At one venue, the mercury-vapour lamps take 5 minutes to come back on after being switched off - a long wait in the dark!
Candles are fine but please leave some light for the band - some bands even look at pieces of paper covered in tadpoles!
Barns especially - warn the band to bring their own if lighting is dim.
The caller also appreciates seeing if you are doing it perfectly!


BOOK THE BAND

Do you need to book a caller separately?
What type of band would you like?

What type of music?

How many musicians / what instruments do you require? - discuss with the band

When / How are you going to pay the band?
Do the band need a deposit?
Discuss their cancellation procedures - just so you know where you stand.
Do the band need a contract signing?
How long do they need to set up?
Are the Bride & Groom leaving half way through the evening? - let the band know.
Do any of the guests sing / play instruments? Do they want to get up and have a go? - let the band know.
Is dress informal, smart or black tie - let the band know.


BARN DANCE REFRESHMENTS AND BAR

Refreshments

Food

Eating Times


FUND RAISING


FORM A BARN DANCE COMMITTEE

The most regular complaints from organisers of dances that have had to be cancelled are

If it's all going wrong - contact the band immediately - they might be able to help!
Don't be caught out - Appoint

Delegate work beforehand.
Check up they are doing it.
Check everyone is selling tickets.
Print tickets, posters.
Sell tickets beforehand (not on the door).
Don't rely on word of mouth.
Sell some more tickets.
Confirm in writing - double bookings and no-shows have been known to happen
Organise a joint-effort with a similar local organisation

Get on ALL Local Radio & TV stations - get an unusual angle so you are bound to get interviewed.

Get in ALL local papers / magazines / folk listings etc.

Get on the Local Whats-On Guide(s) on the internet - they are free

Take heart, if all fails, even the highly organised sometimes get it wrong!


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Page Last Updated: 7th September, 2013