FAQ 7 Indoor events - What are the technical and other requirements for the Band and / or Caller and the dancers?

- Also see FAQ 6 section on marquees

- Power source

Access to an ordinary properly earthed 13A plug-point is the only essential requirement for the Band. A Mains power source is ideal but using a generator is fine too.

The band reserves the right to refuse to use an electricity source if it believes the wiring system is faulty or dangerous. Some bands do a Mains test on the night. A band will be unable to play amplified if the power source is unsuitable – and the Caller will not be heard.

- Flooring for the dancers

For dances in marquees and outdoors – see section in Venue Guidelines on Marquees

Generally speaking, a solid wooden floor or carpet is fine for dancing on. Many venues have a purpose-built, solid, wooden dance floor. Wooden flooring isn’t critical as carpet does a perfectly good job for dancing on. Some venues offer a portable segmented “mobile” wooden dance floor, which the venue management assembles on the day. These floors often have steep metal edges and therefore pose a potential safety hazard. It’s better and safer for people to dance on carpet than on a floor with steep edges. It’s definitely better NOT to have the floor laid, and to dance on carpet, rather than on a floor where people could trip over the edges. If you are having a proper wooden dance floor laid, you'll definitely need to ask the management to allow a good 3m depth for the band to set up comfortably, so the dance floor is not too close to where the musicians set up. Watch out for floors that are very slippery - some venues have a tiled or polished floor and this can be hazardous when doing the faster ceilidh dances.

- Stage

A band doesn't need a stage. It’s a bonus if a good sized stage area is provided but it’s NOT essential. If you (or the venue) were to provide one, it must be at least 6m wide x 3m deep and no higher than 1m. Some venues have a ready-built stage, other venues are able to build a portable one, but a Ceilidh usually takes place with the band and caller on ground level. It’s better for the band to set up on the floor rather than trying to cram onto a stage which is too small. It's easier for the Caller to move between band and dancers if he or she is on the floor rather than a high stage.

- Lighting

Reasonably bright lighting in the room is best, as the caller needs to be able to see what the dancers are doing, so the lighting shouldn’t be as dim and gloomy as for a Disco! Some Ceilidh and Barn Dance bands have their own lighting which they bring with them, but it’s not an essential, as room lighting is sufficient.

- Armless chairs and table

Musicians sometimes like the use of some armless chairs and may need a sturdy oblong table about 1m x 2m for a mixer / amplifier. The table should be available for the band on their arrival, to enable a speedy set up.

- Access & Parking

Please consider ensuring easy access to the area where the Band will be playing. Parking facilities for their vehicles as close as possible to the venue or marquee entrance for unloading and loading their PA equipment & instruments is essential.

- Directions

If the venue is particularly difficult to find, some additional directions will be appreciated in addition to the venue post code for using a SAT NAV.

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