This year’s National Celtic Festival will be held across the long weekend, June 7th-10th, at Portarlington, Victoria. This festival has taken off in the 11 years since it first began in the small Victorian coastal town. It is now proudly the largest and most diverse celebration of Celtic music and culture in the southern hemisphere.
This year the festival will feature more than 60 diverse acts performing in over a dozen venues, with increased facilities and seating to keep everybody comfortable. People gather at this festival from across Australia to connect to the culture and traditions of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany, The Isle of Man, Galicia and Asturias; and now Canada’s traditionally Celtic regions.
International Celtic talent of the highest pedigree will perform, including multi-national group The Outside Track; young vocalist Aoife Scott – from Ireland’s legendary Black family; two of Scotland’s finest musical exports, Mairearad Green and Anna Massie; strong yet sensitive interpretation of traditional Scottish song from Fiona Ross; and, returning by popular demand to the festival, contemporary Irish singer/songwriter Eleanor McEvoy.
Joining them will be Canadian multi-instrumentalist and some-time pop star, Tim Chaisson. Hailing from Prince Edward Island, which is steeped in largely Scottish heritage, Chaisson will return to his traditional Celtic roots for the festival.
Director Una McAlinden said the festival wanted to explore the connections that other countries, such as Canada, have to Celtic music and culture, similar to the connections felt by so many Australians.
The festival draws the very best Celtic acts from across Australia. This year the line-up includes Claddagh, The Ploughboys (with original members), Tolka, Claymore, Corinn Strating Band, Jenny Fitzgibbon, Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club, The Barleyshakes, Sibin, Zeon, Squeebz, Siobhan Owen, Melbourne Ceili Band, The Likely Celts, Simpsons Three, The Raglins and many more.￼
There’s also an extensive dance program; ceili dances; a ‘Trad’ Conference and a reinvigorated Pipes and Drums Program featuring two very modern phenomena: ‘Drumming For Drinks’, where the audience votes for their favourite drummers; and ‘Piping Idol’, with pipers under 25 competing for the chance to play with the big bands.
There will also be extensive Workshop Program for adults and children, lead by experienced and expert performers and the entertainment including passionately performed historical Celtic re-enactments; displays of Celtic martial arts; and a huge undercover market full of Celtic wares.
But it’s the sessions that start spontaneously in the pubs, often going on late into the night, where you can really soak up the festival atmosphere. It’s what happens when this many musicians and singers gather together!
￼For three full days and nights the packed program will offer something for all ages and musical tastes. The music ranges from traditional to contemporary with a huge variety of cross-over styles including Celtic rock, punk, jazz and much more.
Nature of Event: National Celtic Festival;
Where: Portarlington, Victoria
When: 7th-10th June 2013;
Further Information : Rochelle Smith (Publicist) 0409 995 638; Shannon Stevenson (Moo Media) 0412 802 764
Una McAlinden (Festival Director) 0403 192 631
National Celtic Festival (for ticket sales etc.)