As I haul my carcass out of my nice warm bed this morning, I immediately recall last night’s wedding reception and the ‘endurance’ of playing from 7.30pm til midnight…..in the cold open air.

Now I guess I’ve been rather spoiled over the last 15 years or so, playing at some really nice hotels and plush marquees in landscaped surroundings, but last night was a little different. The wedding reception disco was held in a fairly large marquee in the grounds of a local cricket club. Upon first impressions (apart from the slalom from van-to-stage-area) the marquee seemed fine. However it did feel a wee bit chilly. And there was a strong smell of paraffin or some kind of inflammable liquid in the air. I was informed that the jet heater was ‘playing up’ and following some tinkering by persons unknown, the heater began blasting some much needed hot air. This lasted about fifteen minutes, whereupon the chimney part of the jet heater exploded off and shut the heater down once more, this time unfortunately for good.

The marquee grew colder very quickly….so we got the First Dance underway earlier than planned in order to get everyone dancing to keep warm. To their credit, the crowd were absolutely amazing. The dance floor was full from the start to the end. Still unsure whether it was my music choice or simply their survival instincts! We continued right the way through til midnight though, so hats off (or on, in the circumstances) to all the wedding reception guests who refused to let a little thing like body warmth get in the way of enjoying themselves.

There is a serious note here though, for any brides and grooms seeking to personally hire a marquee on private grounds……..please ensure that the marquee company have a staff member onsite or nearby for any eventualities, like heater breakdowns or high wind damage. The particular marquee we were in last night was quite a shoddy effort, not only devoid of heating but also ill-prepared as the flooring was not taped or secured down between gaps in the matting….and yes, I tripped over it on the way out!

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