The Slippery Hill Boys - Hoedown party, Wedding party, Barn Dance - Staffordshire & Cheshire.
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Here are some of the things we have learned while playing at many barn dances to help you raise the maximum amount of money for your charity. They are in no particular order
- Like all bands, Fridays and Saturdays are our busiest nights. For a better deal consider a midweek event or a tea dance on a Sunday. It doesn't matter if it's work next day if you finish reasonably early.
- Rodeo bulls and other games are great fun but are not a good idea in conjunction with a barn dance. It's
difficult to run these things and a barn dance at the same time and so you
have to have them in separate places. That splits up the audience.
Ideally we want everyone in the same space, both physically and
mentally. Also if they have to pay for the ride, they will have less
for the collecting bucket. Between dancing, eating and drinking, they
will have plenty to do. Remember, keep it simple.
- Stress that it is a barn DANCE so that people know exactly what they are
letting themselves in for. Of course the caller will explain all the
moves and so no experience is necessary. But we want people who are
willing to give it a go and not just stand around.
- There are often a lot of children at these events, which is great. However if they are
running round while dancing is going on there is a risk they could get
hurt so you might like to consider a baled off children's area perhaps
with a few toys for the little ones. However, our callers are used to
dealing with children so don't worry too much.
- Outside catering can be expensive. You might like to look at lower cost
alternatives, such as a pie and pea supper, or get someone to whip up
a large pan of chilli with rice. Organise a cake competition or
ask volunteers to bring cakes/pies etc for dessert. The less it
costs, the more you raise.
- Some events have an outside bar, some just get people to bring their own
booze. The way we see it, bringing your own booze is a cheaper option
for families, leaving them with more money to donate to charity.
- We have stupid weather - it can be cold at any time of year. If you are holding the event in a barn or marquee and
have any safe way of heating the space that would be great. Also think about lighting. It
doesn't need to be floodlit but some light on the dance floor is a
- Get volunteers to sell tickets. It's easier for 10 people to sell 10
tickets each than for one person to sell 100.
- If you have business contacts see if you can sell blocks of tickets to
companies. Tell 'em its good for networking.
- Ask people to donate items and run a raffle, or if the donated items are good
enough, get some local character to run an auction.
- Fancy dress is good, and easy. Almost everyone has a check shirt and
a pair of jeans and it's practical wear for a barn dance. Maybe offer a
prize for the best one. Some also offer a prize for the best dancer or
couple of dancers. There are usually one or two who stand out.
- Don't undersell the band. We've done events where the most mention we
got on posters was 'Live Music'. Big up the event so that people feel they are
getting real value for money. We're a nationally acclaimed bluegrass
band and have played for Chevrolet at The National Motoring Museum and
had a sellout concert at the prestigious arts venue Kings Place, in
London. More recently we have played for major corporate clients such as Nissan and the pharmaceutical company, Bayer. You'll find publicity photographs at the bottom of our
website. We strongly recommend getting posters and tickets done by a
professional (at a cut down rate, of course!)
- Try to get publicity in local press, radio etc, especially for anyone who
supports you. If people are giving something to support your cause it's only fair
they get some recognition.
- We will have a supply of our CD 'Gathering Speed' available for sale.
(it's on Amazon and iTunes) Each CD is professionally produced, comes
in a skinny wrapped jewel case and costs £10. As a special offer for fund raisers, for each one sold at the event we will donate £5 to the cause.
All enquiries: 07985 425932 or email
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