Top 5: Traditional Scottish Entertainment for Burns Night

January 11, 2012


With Burns Night fast approaching, we've got Scotland on the brain. Though they may act like they hate us with a burning passion; they've given us some greatest inventions of the last century - from the Television to the telephone, MRI machines to Curling, the theory of the Higgs Boson Particle to Alice's Mum.

At Sternberg Clarke we like to think we're a bit handy with the old "themeing entertainment for corporate events" and when it comes to Scottish Entertainment we like to think we're a step ahead of the pack (mostly because we can call Alice's Mum and ask her how you address a haggis) So to give an idea of the types of Entertainment we can offer for Burns Night events - here are our Top 5 Scottish Acts for Corporate Events.

Our Bagpiper was featured in a previous photo caption which was very funny I assure you... you'll just have to search for it Bagpiper

When it comes to "Burns Nicht", no party is complete without a Bagpiper. In recent years the piper's role in the event has expanded into a sort of master of ceremonies for the evening, therefore it's important to book an expert piper for an authentic Burns Night experience.  The piper (or more commonly the host) often begins with the Selkirk Grace before dinner which goes a little something like this...

    Some hae meat and canna eat,
    And some wad eat that want it;
    But we hae meat, and we can eat,
    And sae let the Lord be thankit.

And later, the piper plays the Haggis into the room before reciting Robert Burns' "Address To A Haggis" (You can take a listen to someone reading the address after the link) This can be followed by further toasts depending on how traditional a client wants to go.

I once had a Highland Fling, but travelling back and forth from London to Scotland to see her nearly *Kilt* me... Scottish Dancers

Scottish celebrations tend to be high energy affairs and nothing represents this better than traditional Scottish Dancers. Our troupe of professionally trained Celtic dancers are well versed in a variety of styles of Highland Dances. Performing in full costume (and never breaking out of their accents on pain of death from their odious English oppressors at Sternberg Clarke) our dancers are an evocative way to bring Burns Night to life.

One of our top céilidh bands enjoy a communal backscratch against a particularly gnarled tree trunk Céilidh Band and Caller

Though it's morphed significantly over the years, the tradition of Scottish céilidh dancing has proved to be impressively resilient part of Scottish culture. Originally used as a courting dance for pairing off young folk, a céilidh dance has become a slightly less pressurised environment for singleton, even incorporating modern pop music and electric instruments. 

Céilidh dances are now regularly organised by clubs, companies, universities or at weddings as a way to express a couple's Scottish Heritage. Typically, a Ceilidh band features a fiddle, flute, tin whistle, accordion, bodhrán, and increasingly in more recent times drums, guitar and bass guitar. The céilidh dance can also be lead by a céilidh caller who instructs guests as to who they should be kicking in the shins and awkwardly apologising to.

Two Drinks; it's the dream that we all share... Whisky Tasting*

If you're currently wondering "Where's the booze?" in relation to this whole "Burns Night" thing, the answer is; here it is. But rather than having guests gulp down artfully mixed cocktails as if they were nothing more than cheap alcopops - our team of Whisky Experts force guests to think a little about what exactly they're consuming. Our Whisky tasting experience is perfect for any event with a Scottish theme and is a great way to engage guests and spark conversation. With a selection of Scotches to choose from, a couple of hours with Sternberg Clarke's Whisky Experts will have anyone convinced that they're a genuine connoisseur.

After a bad performance, Neb is forced to stand sheepishly next to "the naughty wall" Neb - Magician

And finally, what's more Scottish than a Scottish Man? Arguably a Scottish woman, but what if said Scottish man was legitimately magic? Ah, there we go. If the rest of these suggestions all seem a little bit too traditional for you - close-up magician Neb can provide a thoroughly modern take on sleight of hand tricks and mentalism, whilst importantly, being an honest to goodness Scot.  In truth, we've got plenty of performers from North of the Border and while we've yet to receive an enquiry that demands we "keep it Celtic"... it's good to know that we could.

So what have we missed? Have we got our Burns Night Facts Straight? Let us know in the comment section and for more information on entertainment for Burns Nigh, get in touch

*UPDATE  - Big thanks to Commenter Pedant for pointing out that Scottish Whisky is spelled without an 'e'... don't look so smart now do we?