Space is not the final frontier – Space at barn dance venues

Gordon Francis
My name is Gordon and I'm a barn dance caller, musician and band leader. I have been running barn dances for Weddings, parties and corporate functions for as long as I can remember. In this blog I will be talking all about how much space you actually need to run a barn dance.
Read MoreBook a Ceilidh Band

Summer wedding? It’s not too late to book your wedding barn dance and disco for this Summer. Leaving the disco bit aside, there are a few things you need to think about and the first thing I’m going to talk about is space at barn dance venues. Despite what you have heard, space is not the final frontier.

Space at barn dance venues comes in two sizes; enough and not enough. Here’s how to tell what you have.

Space to eat and dance

This shows a room set out for a Twinning meal with space to dance afterwards

Village halls are usually great for space. The only thing you need think about there is how you divide up the space you have available in your hall. I’m going to go over halls in my next blog.


Your currency when it comes to space at barn dance venues is ‘the badminton court’. Really, yes really. If you can imagine your band stood at one end and people dancing on the badminton court you have a rough idea of the space needed. Chairs can then be put around the outside against the wall. If you think that you still need tables, reduce them down to at least a third as some people will be dancing; some will be wandering around chatting, exploring and drinking outside and some will remain seated for the whole evening, never to be moved!

You may have less room than the proverbial table tennis table. Don’t worry. Just message us and we’ll tell you how to work with what you have. Believe me, there’s always a way. Space at barn dance venues is really not a problem worthy of Professor Brian Cox. Remember, Space is not the final frontier.

A wedding barn dance with Scallywag

Barn dance in a small space

This is Froginwell Vineyard. In the background you can see Scallywag operating as a 3-piece. The dance floor was no more than 20′ (6 metres) square.

Most of the time, hotels will lay tables throughout the entirety of the room and then remove them after coffee. This is when guests are encouraged to go for a wander whilst the staff clear. This is also when the band set up. Scallywag can set up in half an hour without a sound check. We can also set up earlier in the day but that means equipment on display which may take up valuable table space or get in the way of photos and generally spoil the ambiance.

It’s good if you talk to your hotel contact about the band as they can then arrange for us to bring in and setup gear in a way that minimises that process interfering with the staff clearing.

One thing to remember us to make sure the hotel put the band on a wall that has power!

So the main things to remember are.

  • If you want a barn dance in a small space, Scallywag will sort it for you.
  • Don’t let the hotel tell you that there’s not enough space
  • Talk to your hotel contact about logistics
  • Power supplies
    That’s it. Don’t forget to read my next blog about ‘Buffets and timings’

More from the Blog

An Irish Ceili!

Party in Third Class

The Unity Project Charity Ceilidh with SOAS Ceilidh Band

Frog on a Bike: Back in the saddle for 2020!

Rocking The Den: Frog on a Bike at Cambridge Folk Festival 2019

Stumpy Oak take the stage at English folk music’s hallowed halls

Stumpy Oak deep in the Cambridgeshire Fens

Stumpy Oak go outdoors at an idyllic, unique countryside venue in Bedfordshire!