Running a barn dance

Barn dances are great for weddings and parties alike. Running a barn dance is all about getting a couple of things right. As well as booking a great band like Scallywag, timings are really important.

Scallywag have had years of experience in making a barn dance work for weddings, parties, village days, Harvest Suppers, etc.

We are able to change from a traditional lineup and sound to a contemporary, electric sound within the space of one number. As a result, this makes us extremely flexible to adjust our sound to suit all age groups. We can play acoustically or really crank it up. This depends on your age range and on how many people you invite.

This page is about running a social barn dance for parties, villages days, charity fundraisers.

If you are looking to book us for your wedding or want to have a disco as part of your party, please check out our Weddings and Discos page as the timings there will be more relevant.

A few things to consider when running a barn dance

  • Timings – If you are running from 7:30 to 11:00 it is better to have a longer second half. Therefore it’s good to break for food around 8:30. However, if you are still eating at 9:00 we will play some background music while you finish up. Consequently you still get enough dancing time in the second half. 9:00 is usually a good time to do ‘Happy Birthday’, speeches or the raffle (or all three). This all depends on what event it is.
  • Children above the age of 6 love to dance at ceilidhs. However dances always work better when there are about 75% adults in attendance (see image below). The really young ones are usually happy to jump around to the music at the sides.
  • Food – If you haven’t decided how you are going to do your food yet have a look at our Food page. Remember, the more food you organise, the longer it will take to eat and the longer it will take to clear away.
  • Venues – 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.
When running a barn dance it helps if there are about 75{3addb5cad9400f19045a32f573e9b6abf7abbd8f78e3e39b54d6ef1fb14da120} adults. That’s a ratio of about 3:1