We have many more bands like these. Select your County in the drop down box above, to see who covers your area.
Ceilidh Bands & Barn Dance Bands
Above is a small selection of our Ceilidh, Barn Dance and Folk Bands across the country. There are many more bands on our database, which can be accessed by selecting your county from the drop down box.
You don't need any experience to enjoy a Ceilidh or Barn Dance. The caller tells you what to do and guides you through the dance. You just enjoy yourself, whatever the occasion, whatever the ages of the guests. Birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, clubs, company events - anything where a bunch of people want to have fun, dance, eat, drink and still be able to talk [not as loud as a disco!]
Ceilidh, Barn Dance or music to listen to?
Are you wondering whether you need a ceilidh band or a barn dance band? Well, if you are, don't worry. A ceilidh and a barn dance are really the same. Ceilidh is the Celtic word and Barn Dance the English or American word for much the same thing. A country dance is another English term, less used these days. And of course there is the Twmpath Band, the Welsh equivalent.
What is more relevant is the kind of music that you enjoy, and whether you choose a band who specialise in one kind of music e.g. Irish music, or a band who will play a bit of every style. If it's a Burns Night or if you are Scottish, you may want a specialist Scottish band, but in many cases it is fun to have a band who can play some of each nationality of music.
We are happy to discuss your ideas with you and recommend suitable bands.
If you don't want to dance, then perhaps you want folk music to listen to. Then the question becomes do you want an instrumental folk band, a singing band or something in between? If you have a situation where people are talking, eating and drinking, often purely instrumental music is best, as it doesn't intrude on people's conversation, and provides a pleasant background. If people are listening more intently or want to join in with singing, then a band who specialise in singing would be appropriate. Other situations demand a little of each. We can discuss this with you and make suggestions if you wish.
For a Ceilidh or Barn Dance, there would be a caller to organise and teach the dancing, so that anyone can join in and have fun. Even when playing for dance societies, there is usually a caller. Many of the 'normal' dances are common to English, Scottish & Irish ceilidhs, each nationality having some special dances.
When it comes to 'demonstration' dances, i.e. the complicated stuff, it is a different matter. Strathspeys and the Irish 'Riverdance' style are worlds apart, but unless we are playing for a dance club, then we stick to the kind of dance that everyone can join in with, dancing in sets of 4 to 8, sometimes with a partner, often swapping partners as the dance progresses.
Scottish, Irish, English, Eastern European music
Many traditional folk tunes are claimed by every nationality. Other tunes are specific to a region. Bands of different nationalities may even have many of the same instruments. The main difference is in the style of playing.
Scottish music tends towards precision of music and musicianship, somewhat akin to playing Mozart. Irish music tends towards fluidity in some ways similar to jazz. English music perhaps falls in between, with Eastern European music flowing through wild and outlandish keys.
Then there is the style within the style. Is the ceilidh band playing in a traditional style or bringing in jazz or pop elements to make the overall effect more 'upbeat' or modern.
So many possibilities, but at the end of the day the theory is irrelevant. You need to listen to the bands on our site and decide what music you enjoy.
Ceilidh / Barn Dance Band line-up
The line up and style of playing of bands varies immensely. A band can have from 2 instrumentalists plus caller, to 6 or 7 or more. Typical instruments are fiddle (violin), accordion, flute / piccolo, guitar, melodian, bass, piano, bodhran or other percussion, but in folk anything goes, sometimes with the weirdest combination of instruments. Styles of playing can range from the most traditional to close to rock.
Because there are so many possibilities, your best bet is to select your county, so you can see the ceilidh and barn dance bands who are available in your area, then listen to their music. Let us know which you like and we can give you prices and comment on their suitability for your event if you wish.