The Timing

The Date

You may have no choice about which date to choose if the event is a wedding or birthday party, but if you have a choice there are one or two tips that may help.

The Time

It is important that the timing of the event matches the lifestyles of you participants. You should be aware that, unlike a disco, a barn dance cannot even start until you have a reasonable number of people present and willing to take part. You do not want to start too early, or some people (including the Band and Caller) may be hanging around for a long time. Equally you do not want to start too late or people will start leaving just as the dance is getting going.

My preference for an isolated Barn Dance (i.e. not linked with a wedding reception, school play, harvest supper, etc) is

8 p.m. until 11.30 p.m.

Few people turn up before 8.15, whatever time you put on the tickets.

If you say 11.30 finish, but tell the musicians and caller that it can run on until midnight if it is going well. That way the 'punters' go home happy.

If you say 1 a.m. finish and most or the people leave at midnight, then the event just 'peters out'. It is not perceived as a success, even if it was going very well at 11 o'clock.

Most Barn Dances actually start about 8.30 and end about 11.45.

Beware of "Sunday Laws" and "School Rules" if your location and timing are likely to encounter them.

I have had a Caretaker switch of all the power and lights during the last dance as he thought we would not be out by midnight. Not a good PR move for him, or the organiser of the Barn Dance. Fortunately, most caretakers are much more amenable, but it is not a good idea to upset them, ( nor the local branch of the Lord's Day Observance Society).  

The Event The Location The Timing The Cost The Music The Organisation
Why are you running the event? Where will you hold it ? When should you hold it ? What is your budget ? Caller and Band Food, Tickets Adverts, etc.
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