The band is based in Edinburgh but are happy to travel anywhere in the world!
Norman Mackay's Ceilidh Experience originally formed in Edinburgh in 2002. Now the Ceilidh band of choice for Rock stars, soap stars and famous politicians, they have gone on to perform at weddings, corporate events and festivals all over the UK and throughout Europe.
Renowned for their Rock style and high energy performances they were recently invited to appear on ‘Magic TV’ where they taught Strictly Come Dancing stars ‘Kate Thornton and Craig Revel Horwood’ how to ceilidh dance! They have also featured on a recent episode of Channel 4’s ‘Four In A Bed’.
The Ceilidh Experience work with their own professional DJ. He also engineers the band’s sound and lighting during the live set and you’ll be able to provide him with first dance & any other requests in advance of the date.
Additional services which can be provided include: afternoon sound & lighting setup, speech microphone, and background music (playlist) during the meal.
Bellfield, Portobello, 4th Sep 2022
Fantastic Experience - our number one priority for our wedding was the music and musicians we know recommended The Ceilidh Experience. They along with Premier Disco created truly a night to remember our American family Danish friends and locals are still raving about the wedding. We're still buzzing- just book them it will be the best decision you make.
Christine & Alan
Dynamic Earth, 27th Aug 2022
Norman and his band were superb. They absolutely rocked our wedding reception and had people dancing all night. The organisation and planning was great and they were able to accommodate everything we asked for. Special praise to their DJ who played with a broken ankle! Definitely went above and beyond! Highly Highly recommended them!
Newton Hall, Alnwick, 20th Aug 2022
Absolutely awesome, we had the Ceilidh Experience as entertainment at our wedding. They couldn’t have been nicer and the music was fantastic. We would highlight recommend.
Kilmardinny House, Glasgow, 5th Aug 2022
I just wanted to drop you a quick line to thank you and your colleagues for an incredible evening on Friday. We loved every minute of it, and were totally blown away by how good the band was. We've been around a lot of ceilidhs in our time, and this was the very best of them.
My friends are keen for me to make it an annual event, so we'll see!
Best wishes and hopefully we will get a chance to have another one in the future.
Duns Castle, 9th July 2022
Hope you and the band are well. The evening with you was indeed absolutely great.
As an organiser of jazz concerts, I can say that I have rarely met such a likeable band.
All the guests were so enthusiastic, that they are all thinking about the possibility of bringing you to Germany.
We will meet again.
The Barn at Harburn, 21st June 2022
We hired the Ceilidh Experience in June 2022 along with Disco James and it was absolutely fantastic. They are all really friendly and helpful, and total professionals. All our guests loved both the disco and the ceilidh, and the quality of the music and all the gear that they brought with them was top notch too. We will definitely be seeing them again! I can't recommend them highly enough :)
Alastair & Geetanjali
Carlowrie Castle, 6th June 2022
The lads played on the evening of our wedding, and what a night it was.. They were just the right balance of calling the dances for the international range of guests and keeping the fun and laughter of the Ceilidh experience.
Everyone raved about it, I would highly recommend Norman and the band anytime.
Braid Hills Hotel, 29th May 2022
Would highly recommend booking these guys for any celebration. We booked for our Wedding in May and start to finish Norman made us feel like everything was under control and he would be looking after us on the night. We met up beforehand to chat through what would happen on the night and got the chance to ask questions. We ran over pretty late with the wedding dinner although the band were very relaxed about this and brought the house down when they were finally able to play. Good group of fun and talented musicians, book now!
Yorkshire, 22nd May 2022
The Ceilidh Experience led by Norman were incredible. We booked them for our Wedding in York and the whole experience was spot on. Norman was super helpful in the months running up to the event and would help with details and clarify anything for me. During the day their set-up was great and sympathetic not to disturb. Their music was brilliant - such a great mix of ceilidh style with a modern twist which went down so well. Great dances, great songs and the DJ James did a brilliant job late into the morning hours. I can't recommend them highly enough!
Harvest Moon, 28th May 2022
We booked The Ceilidh Experience for our wedding in May 2022 at Harvest Moon Holidays in Dunbar. We chose the four person band option, DJ and also folk music provided during the ceremony.
Norman was fantastic throughout the whole process, including when we had to re-arrange the wedding twice due to Covid lockdowns. Norman was great with coming up with ideas and helping us make choices for the day, all aspects of the music were well organised and delivered well.
The ceilidh was great fun and all our guests as well as us loved it!
Cammy and Alex
Linlithgow Burgh Halls, 20th May 2022
Norman and the band were brilliant. Everyone has commented saying how it was such a fantastic ceilidh. Given that no one has been to a ceilidh in the last couple of years the whole band were on fire and really made up for it.
We had several guests who had never been to a ceilidh before and they have all loved the experience. It can be daunting being thrown into a ceilidh but everything was run through first and then we were off!
Word of advice - you might think your dance floor is big enough but it's never big enough, everyone will be up with these guys playing!
Lauren & Stephen
Gilmerton House, 8th May 2022
As a wedding planner, I see a LOT of ceilidh bands perform and The Ceilidh Experience were one of the best I've seen. Norman and the band we so good their sound check (which normally sounds like dying cats) sounded great! They were fantastic callers, incredible musicians, and just lovely guys. I will be recommending them to anyone who wants a ceilidh at their wedding.
Mansfield Traquair, 6th Nov 2021
Apologies for the delay in reply, today has been the first day we have returned to some kind of normality. But I just wanted to thank you all for helping to make our day so special. We have been flooded with compliments over the last week on how the evening was the best part of the day. You made the dances clear to understand, you were so patient with all the drunken guests and you got the party started from the moment you began. A decent amount of our guests had never been to a Scottish wedding before and they were blown away by the ceilidh. I can't thank you enough for the amazing job you all did.
Our photographer got some really good shots from the night so will send them over once we have received them.
Ellie & Neil
Kinkell Byre, 14 Oct 2021
Thanks for creating such a party atmosphere for us! All our guests have commented on how great you guys were and loved the balance of ceilidh and DJ. Everyone certainly partied hard! It was just what we wanted!
Crieff Hydro, 21 August 2019
The Ceilidh Experience played our wedding at Crieff Hydro Hotel - we had about half and half English and Scottish guests , which meant that a lot of our guests hadn't a clue about the ceilidh dances. This was never a problem on the night though, as the band did a great job of talking us through the dances one by one in a friendly way.
They're excellent musicians (as you can tell by their samples on their website) and they got everybody into a really fun, give-it-a-go spirit. The feedback we've had from guests (including those that had never Ceilidhed before) has been overwhelmingly positive. People were saying they forgot to take any photos because they got so caught up in all the dancing!
They were a friendly bunch too, and were really good at communicating with us in the run-up to the event. Their DJ, James, was also very helpful, and kept the party entertained well between sets with a mix of our requests and popular hits, and he also put up with my anxieties about making sure we had the right music for our first dance!
Could not recommend Ceilidh Experience enough for weddings/parties/ family gatherings and hope to be at one of their events at some point in the near future.
Nicola & Eric
Tullochcurran Farmhouse, 15th June 2019
A huge thank you to the ceilidh experience for playing at our wedding last Saturday. The music was fantastic from start to finish, you were all so friendly and easy to get along with! Our guests had a fab time even those that had no clue how to do the ceilidh dances but you were all so helpful and patient!!!!
We would highly recommend you!
Thank you so much, Nikki and Paul (Tullochcurran Farmhouse)
Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh, 8th June 2019
Norman and the band played at our recent wedding, and we couldn't be more happy! The music got everyone mingling and enjoying themselves, and it was fantastic. It was an extremely special experience, and made even better by the Ceilidh Experience. Thank you!
Alexis & David
National Mining Museum, Newtongrange, 1st June 2019
Hi Norman, James and The Ceilidh Experience,
Thanks very much for playing at our wedding this weekend.
You guys were amazing and really gave a fantastic first introduction to what a Ceilidh is all about to the many people from all over Europe who were at the wedding. We also loved the Disco that struck just the right tone to get pretty much everyone up on the dancefloor at some point.
Thanks also for adapting the set, given the massive delay with the serving of the meal. Was a shame to cut things a bit short – but was just one of those of things.
Liam and Mailys
The Byre at Inchyra, 9th March 2019
Wow, I’m so amazed and speechless about this past weekend. Thank you for making this wedding a completely magical dream come true.
All the best,
Chris and Erin McClelland
Assembly Rooms, Newcastle, 28th Dec 2018
Thank you so so much for everything. We had the best day/ night and all our guests loved the dancing, sorry some of them were not that good i think those at the back of the dance floor struggled to hear the instructions sometimes but at least they tried and had great fun!
We would not hesitate to recommend you to anyone looking for a great band in the future.
Take care and thanks again.
Hazel & Sam, 26th Oct 2018, Healey Barn
Friday was amazing! You guys made our night so so special and kept us all on the dance floor until the bitter end. A quick note to thank you and the rest of the band, super talented bunch who know how to throw a serious party!
We will recommend you to anyone who needs a top class Ceilidh Band.
Hazel and Sam
Stephen & Mel, Borthwick Castle, 12th Aug 2018
Just wanted to say thank you so much for playing at our wedding!
You guys were amazing and the guests loved it!
Thanks very much,
Stephen & Mel
Flora & Ed, Dunglass Estate, 4th Aug 2018
Dear Norman and the team,
Thank you so much for being part of our wedding day! You guys were absolutely brilliant and all of the guests remarked on how good the ceilidh was. Wee have loved meeting you and will definitely be coming to see you play again soon.
Lots of love, Flora & Ed xxxx
Brenna Spray, 23rd June 2018, Melville Castle
Norman and his fellow musicians were absolutely fabulous at our wedding this past June. My family is from the United States, and so had never encountered a ceilidh before. Needless to say, they absolutely loved every second of it, and that is down to the skill of the calling and overall experience of the band! We were also able to book through them a DJ, James at Premier Disco, who had us all on the dance floor all night when the band wasn't playing.
Jeremy Mason, 23rd April 2018, Surgeon’s Hall, Edinburgh
We would like to say a massive thank you to the ceilidh experience and the DJ for playing at our wedding. We could not have asked for a better night! You were all great and had the whole crowd going from beginning to end. Everybody had such a fantastic time and loved the energy of the night! We really had the best night of our lives and your music played a massive part in that!
Thank you so much for contributing to our wedding day in such a brilliant way! We are so grateful to you all!
Yvonne Smith, 1st Aug 2014, Dundas Castle
The Ceilidh Experience played at my wedding at the beginning of August 2014, and they were absolutely brilliant. As my husband is Australian, at least half the guests had never been to a ceilidh before and had no idea what to do. This didn't matter one bit - the steps were clearly explained and the dance floor was always full. Everyone had a blast, and this was due to the talent, energy and enthusiasm of the band. The moustache stickers were also a big hit (and certainly helped to clarify who was dancing as a man!).
The disco section was also fantastic, and it was great to see so many guests up on the dance floor.
In the run up to my wedding, the communication was excellent and the online portal (where you can request songs for the DJ in advance) was also very helpful. Planning a wedding can obviously be stressful, and it certainly helps to know that your suppliers are reliable and professional.
In short, I would highly recommend this band to anyone.
Cameron Kirkwood, 2nd Nov 2013, Carberry Tower
The Ceilidh Experience played at our wedding at the end of 2013 and they were outstanding!! Simply put they are top-class musicians with great energy and stage presence. It was really important to us to have a band that would cater to keen Scottish country dancers, eager but shy people who needed a bit of encouragement/guidance and also to entertain the wall flowers... Norman’s band absolutely nailed it. They have great character and I honestly believe they’re one of the best ceilidh bands in the UK (I’ve been going to ceilidhs for 10+ years and never seen a better band). Disco James was top-notch too and the way they set up and interacted with each other and our friends and family made the whole evening a party... all of our friends said they had a ball and it was one of the best receptions they’d ever been to. I’d highly recommend the Ceilidh Experience to anyone!!
Donna MacSween, 24th April 2015, The Hub, Edinburgh
Ceilidh Experience played at our wedding in The Hub and they were simply awesome! We couldn't have booked a better band - the dance floor was never empty and they were very professional throughout the planning process. The sound was great, Norman Mackay and the guys were fantastic and all the guests commented on how brilliant they were. Highly recommend this band! :)
James Brewster, 7th Feb 2015, Kinkell Byre, St Andrews
We found Norman online and asked him to preform for our wedding at Kinkell Byre in St Andrews on the 7th of Feb 2015.
Wow! It was a great day and we both had a fantastic time and all of our guests had a great time too.
Quite a few of our guests commented on how amazing Norman and the band were and they loved their knight rider interlude and all the others too... A few asked for the bands details so no doubt there will be some repeat and further custom.
It was a really slick and fun night of music and exactly what we were after. Looking back at the photos there were so many smiling faces and a big part of that was because of Norman's band / James' set.
An incredible wedding, couldn't have went any better. Ceilidh is really the only way to do it. .
Still smiling a few weeks on. Thanks again Norman and co.
James and Lorraine.
Sam Trett, (Edinburgh University, Various events)
The best Ceilidh band in Scotland! (A big claim but I'd challenge anyone to prove me wrong)
I have organised and attended scores of events and Norman and his team come with my highest recommendation. As a result I use them every time. My guests always leave happy.
The variety of dances they offer is wide and exciting and the instruction is clear and easy to follow (make sure you request the 'helicopter').
Even the music interludes get people up on their feet singing and dancing. The DJ package (which is included in the price on request) brings an added dynamic to the proceedings.
Great band and would fit any occasion. *They also wear awesome suits*
Look elsewhere at your own peril.
Scroll to view set list
Dashing White Sergeant
Strip The Willow
Cumberland Square Eight
Canadian Barn Dance
Military 2 Step
Orkney Strip The Willow
Auld Lang Syne
The band also plays various instrumental covers of well-known songs between ceilidh dances.
The DJ takes care of any other requests, and you'll be given access to their user-friendly online music planner system in advance of the date, where you can organise requests, first dances etc.
This act's standard set times are as follows: