As well as the size and volume of the band, you should think about the kind of music you want. Meaning, do you want a really energetic, fervent, wild time? If so, people will be dancing faster, moving around more. So you should make sure your guests are comfortable with a more physical event. If they aren’t, discuss keeping things relatively calm with the band. Dancing can be fun at any speed.
There are also some practical considerations to factor in when choosing your band.
Do you have enough space? Is the stage big enough for the size of band that you want? Musicians can be pretty nimble, but drum kits and keyboards take up a lot of space. Ideally, you want a minimum stage space of about 5 metres by 5 metres. More, if you have a big band.
Your band almost definitely need a power supply. If you’ve chosen an events venue, you should be fine. If you’re having your ceilidh in a forest, you’ll need to come up with a plan for where the guitar amp plugs in.
Our bands like to be able to set up at least an hour before the event, so you should take that into consideraion. If you have other activities planned for your guests, see what you can do to allow them to continue uninterruped while the band set up. This may require your activities to take place in another location, like another nearby room.
When you’re happy you’ve got the right band for your guests and the right space for them to play in, it’s time to think about your guests.
There are a number of important things to take into account when planning your event to ensure they have the best ceilidh possible.
Guest concern number one: clothing and footwear.
It might be worth dropping a note to your guests before the event with some advice on dress code. Some things are obvious; if you’re dancing, you probably don’t want to be wearing a ball gown that trails on the floor. Your partner, or someone else, will inevitably step on it. Then you’ll fall. You’ll take someone with you. Dominos – everyone in a pile on the floor.
If you’re dancing, and I mean really dancing, then you’re going to be warm. Make sure not to wear clothes that are too warm. A heavy wool suit could be an issue after a few dances in a warm, crowded room. You want to be comfortable to have the most fun. But you’re almost certainly going to be warm at some point. If you’re struggling with the heat, sit out a dance. Maybe dance every other dance. Get some air. Drink a cool drink.
And, finally, make sure your guests know what footwear NOT to bring. Ladies probably don’t want to be in eight-inch stilettos. Obviously, it can impact the wearer’s balance when spinning. But we should be just as concerned about the innocent bystanders and their poor toes.
Gents should avoid slidey, slippery loafers. Old, worn dress shoes will not do. Grip is important for balance, so the dancer doesn’t harm himself, but also so that the bigger lads don’t land on someone else’s wee mum.