barn dance and ceilidh in devon and somerset - Weddings, birthdays, community dances, social dances, charity fundraisers and parties
Village and community halls are great venues as they are usually a good size for dancing and have all of the facilities you need in one space.
Some have particular rules about types of entertainment, volume, food, drink, rubbish disposal, etc. so it is best to check out their terms and conditions. Also, find out about finishing and locking up times as I have seen over-zealous caretakers and wardens put an unpleasant end on a good evening?
This is usually pre-determined at hotels but, if you are organising your own venue for your reception such as a village hall, you need to check your user agreement.
Please check that you can do what you plan to do under the venue's Term and Conditions, e.g. Wells Town Hall has its own bar and you are tied to using the pub next door for your food. Both are great but you can't do your own thing.
If you haven't decided how you are going to do your food yet have a look
at our food section on the
Remember, the more food you organise, the longer it will take to eat and the longer it will take to clear away.
The main things to watch out for with marquees are space, flooring and power.
Space - you may be able to see a marquee in action or from a brochure. Either way, try to work out the following -
Barns are fine as long as the pigs moved out a while ago.
The main problem we have had with barns is dust. If the floor is untreated you can find yourself in a fog of concrete dust which isn't very pleasant on a number of levels. The same problems occurs if the barn has previously been used for storing dry materials such as hay.
The other major issue arises from trying to pile the band on top of a rickety and combustible pile of hay bales against the weather wall of the barn (loose description) with suspect power supply.
Please remember that we are amplified and dry electrics are always a bonus.
Talking of power supplies, we only really need a domestic supply (230/240v) as the amplification does not have a large demand.
Please make sure the supply is sound and dry and it is worth making sure that no-one can unplug it accidentally. We once played in a marquee on a marshy flood plane powered by a series of daisy-chained home extension cables that stretched back to a house on a hill 1/4 of a mile away. The owner (the bride's father) turned off the supply at 9:30 when he had had enough of the celebrations plunging the entire marquee in to complete darkness.
Below are the points of our terms and conditions that relate specifically to the venue. It will help you think about some of the issues involved.
SCALLYWAG RESERVES THE RIGHT NOT PLAY IN CONDITIONS THAT MAY BE HAZZARDOUS TO EITHER BAND MEMBERS OR THE PUBLIC. EXAMPLES OF SUCH CONDITIONS MAY BE UNSTABLE STAGING OR SURROUNDING SUPERSTRUCTURE, INADEQUATE AND/OR INAPPROPRIATE POWER SUPPLY, POOR PROTECTION FROM RAIN AND SIMILAR WEATHER CONDITIONS WHILST USING ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT, AND INHALATION OF CONCRETE DUST FROM UNTREATED BARN FLOORS.2.ENTRY TIME - To be ready at the contracted start time the band will require unrestricted access to the venue one hour immediately prior to that time in order to set up and prepare.