How much space is required?
A guide to minimum space requirements, along with some suggestions for the ideal space:
Minimum: 5m x 5m
Ideal: 6m x 13.5m (i.e. a badminton court).
Minimum: 4m x 3m (minimum for three members plus caller, in addition to dance space. With a drummer at least a metre more in one direction is needed).
Ideal: 7m x 3m
Minimum: 5m x 5m
Frequently asked Questions
Can I view your certificates and risk assessment?
These days organisers have to be more and more careful about the paperwork side of things. Like most people I hate the stuff, but in an effort to make things a little easier I shall, over time, be posting up any documents as I update them.
If what you want is not here then let me know and I'll see about putting something together. Although, I do find that a risk assessment on a Wandering Minstrel borders on the frivolous and/or pedantic. Click on the links below to view documents.
Can you use recorded music?
Mike is happy to use live or recorded music depending on the requirements of each occasion.
As a caller, he performs either as a "one man dance", calling and playing the accordion at the same time, or with one of this three bands. He also uses recorded music if required.
For lessons, often a mix of live and recorded music works best. Live music is provided by Mike and CD recordings cover a range of period and styles.
Mike has used music from the Broadside Band, Phil Pickett, Richard Thomson, The Albion, The Assembly Players, The Ranchers, Aly Bain & Phil Cunningham, Wolfstone, Yankee Ingenuity, The Bismarcks and Burseldon Village Band, amongst others.
As you will see from the Events page, Mike does various events in one of his many guises come and see one. Furthermore, 90% of his band bookings are private functions such as weddings.
Unfortunately it is not usually possible for potential clients to come and see a performance prior to booking. Instead, Mike is able to offer some demo CDs upon request, Demo CDs, pics and video clips will be uploaded.
There is no point in seeing Mike teach Maypole Dancing if you want to book him for an American Barn Dance, Scottish Ceilidh or French Restaurant. Alternatively come and chat to him at one of his events.
Do you do Charity events?
This is what Mike says about them
What he can do
Fees It is sometimes appropriate to donate a proportion of my fee, usually related to ticket prices, to the Charity as a specific donation or as a reduced fee. Where the band is involved it is often better to book a smaller line up. Two of the most successful events that did this then had enough ticket sales to increase the fee and add an extra musician in the last week.
Fundraising Events Certain types of events (eg Dance Through the Ages workshops) lend themselves to the smaller event. Events can raise between £70 & £250 for the charity after all expenses have been covered. However they do take a commitment from somebody to organise them and their success seems to be directly proportional to how involved the Charity become.
Background Music for certain events, such as fun runs etc, he has offered to play background music on a particular theme to entertain the crowd and encourage the runners etc. However if he is doing this for a low fee then he may take a full paying event if offered
What he will not do
Events for free or vastly reduced fees just because it is a charity. That can mean that he is donating 10 or 20 times the amount that individual members of the public are paying.
He cannot promise discounts on behalf of other band members – they make their own decisions.