Norman Mackay's Ceilidh Experience

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you explain the dances? answer » « close

Yes! Our band members are expert dance callers and can talk you through the dances step by step. All ceilidhs are different. Sometimes there are a lot of experienced dancers. Other times nobody has ever been to a ceilidh before. Either way we can gauge it on the night, and do as much or as little calling as required.

Can we see the band live before booking? answer » « close

Yes! Although the majority of our ceilidhs are for weddings & private functions, we always make sure that we have at least one or two gigs coming up which are open to the general public, so potential clients can come along to see us play live.

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How does the Ceilidh Disco combination work? answer » « close

We prefer not to plan an exact time schedule for the ceilidh and the disco in advance as it’s really best to gauge the audience on the night. However, here is an example of alternating between the two which we find to work very well at weddings:

We start with the first dance, which can be played by either the band or the DJ, then the ceilidh band comes on until the break.
The DJ will play background music during the break.

The band will then come back on after the break for a few more ceilidh sets before handing the show over to the DJ who will play right through until the end of the evening.

Alternatively the ceilidh band can come back on for the final 30 minutes to rock it up with a massive Orcadian strip the willow and Auld Lang Sine.

How far do you travel? answer » « close

Although most of the band members are based in Edinburgh, we regularly perform throughout the UK and abroad. We’re happy to travel any distance providing our expenses and additional costs are covered.

For gigs within 200 miles from Edinburgh, it’s easiest for us to drive there & provide all of our own equipment.

For longer distance gigs within the UK (due to the travel time involved) it’s sometimes easier for us to travel by train and hire PA equipment and drum kit to be delivered to the venue. We can advise you on what equipment we would require.

When we play abroad, we normally fly from Edinburgh airport and we’ll bring in a local equipment hire company to provide the sound, lighting and drum kit.

Here are some possible expenses which you may need to take into account when booking a band for a long distance gig:

Travel expenses e.g. fuel, travel time, train/plane/ferry/bus tickets, taxis, equipment hire, and accommodation.

Travel tickets and B&B are usually organised and purchased by the client.

Travel time & fuel expenses will be added to the total fee.

If you complete our online inquiry form, with details of your event & location, we will help you to find the easiest solution, and provide you with a quote for expenses.

Do you provide your own PA/sound equipment? answer » « close

We provide and prefer to use our own sound equipment. At the time of booking we’ll ask you to confirm details of approx numbers & venue size. This will be taken into consideration and we’ll then work out the most suitable set up for your event. The Ultimate Show includes a high spec sound system with bass bins and stage & dance floor lighting.

The Standard Package includes a high quality sound system which is adequate for any small to medium sized venue.

All of our equipment is safety tested to P.A.T. standards.

How much power will you need? answer » « close

The Ultimate Show requires two separate double socket sources.

The Standard Show requires just one double socket.

If we book the ceilidh without a disco, can we plug an mp3 player into the bands sound system? answer » « close

Yes! Providing it’s within the bands max play time this will be no problem.

A lot of our guests have never been to a ceilidh before. Will they be able to learn the dances? answer » « close

Yes! We will help by calling and demonstrating where necessary. We quite often find that people who have never been to a ceilidh before are all the more enthusiastic!

Are there cheaper ceilidh bands? answer » « close

Yes, There are cheaper ceilidh bands, however usually the price reflects in the quality. If you’re looking for a budget priced band, it would definitely be advisable to see them play live before booking.

Do you have public liability Insurance? answer » « close

Yes! We have cover of up to £10,000,000

We saw a video of the accordion player diving off a stage and dancing to Stevie Wonder! Can he do this at our wedding?! answer » « close

He could, but it probably wouldn’t work, as these things can’t be planned. They just have to happen spontaneously!

Can I provisionally book the band? answer » « close

Due to the volume of enquiries The Ceilidh Experience receive, we cannot reserve dates or accept provisional bookings. Bookings can only be confirmed once a deposit is received.

The first to pay the deposit secures the date.

We can pencil a date in for you, and inform you if another potential client expresses an interest in booking the band for the same date, giving you the chance to make a quick decision. However, if during this time somebody else pays a deposit the date will automatically go to them.

How do I confirm a booking? answer » « close

Once we have decided on the correct package for your event and provided you with a quote, we require a booking deposit (non refundable). Once the deposit & details are received we can then confirm the booking and you’ll be sent a confirmation letter/contract to check carefully, sign and return. Once we receive the signed contract, the booking is secured.

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Email: Norman Mackay | Online Enquiry Form | Ceilidh Experience Blog | tel: +44 (0) 781 614 4605 | Stage Plan & Rider