Norman Mackay's Ceilidh Experience

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you explain the dances? answer » « close

We can talk through the dances once or twice beforehand. The dances we do are pretty straight forward and generally people can pick them up after a couple of times through. Our engineer James can also get out onto the dance floor to help.
Once the dances have been explained and the band begins to play, we tend not to call instructions over the music. If anyone is still not sure after a couple of explanations, they may have to improvise at first until they catch on to what the other dancers are doing. .

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

Yes! We highly recommend that you do try to catch us live if possible as this is the only real way to see exactly what we do. Although a lot of our bookings are for weddings and private events, we always have a few public gigs coming up which are listed on our website gig diary & also on our Facebook events page:

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

Although we can alter timings to suit the crowd on the night this is the general template we find to work best and tend to stick with most of the time:

First dance/dances: DJ
The ceilidh band will play until the break/buffet (which is usually between 60 & 90 minutes)
DJ Set
Final 45 minutes the band will come back on for a rocked up ceilidh finale which will end with all of the guests on the floor for The Orcadian Strip The Willow & Auld Lang Syne
Alternatively our DJ can play Loch Lomond between The Orcadian Strip The Willow & Auld Lang Sine

Our DJ & musicians will all stay until the end of the evening. If you want more ceilidh/less DJ or more DJ/less ceilidh, just come up and let us know, but please make sure that we are given enough notice to plan out our schedule so that we are able to bring everything to a good finale at the correct time.

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 contact all venues around two weeks before the event date to double check setup times & access.
We also provide links where they can access PDF files of the following certificates:

Stage Plan & Rider
Public Liability Certificate of Insurance
Risk Assessment Document
PAT Certificate

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 agreed on the best package for your event, and provided you with a quote, we require a non refundable booking deposit.
When the deposit has been received and we have been provided with all of your event details, you'll receive a copy of the contract by email.
If you're happy that the details are all correct, you'll be able to sign this electronically.
You will then receive your system log-in details and can keep track of everything connected with your booking via our online system at

Follow Us On Facebook! Follow the Ceilidh Master on Twitter! Follow us on Google+ Subscribe RSS Ceilidh Experience YouTube Channel
For the latest gigs & news, sign up!
Subscribe Unsubscribe
Email: Norman Mackay | Online Enquiry Form | Ceilidh Experience Blog | tel: +44 (0) 781 614 4605 | Stage Plan & Rider