Each year of the past decade this usually quiet seaside village
on Victoria's Bellarine Peninsula has undergone a transformation
over the June long weekend, when it comes to life with the music,
laughter and passion of the Celtic spirit.
Now the largest Celtic celebration of its kind in the southern
hemisphere, the festival features authentic performances,
workshops, entertainment and customs from the cultures of Ireland,
Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Cornwall, the Isle of Man, Galicia &
Festival director Una McAlinden said that with well over 50 per
cent of Australia's
population having some sort of Celtic heritage, it was important to
traditions and connections. "I think it's our role, both as a
national event and as Australia's premier Celtic festival, to make
sure we're keeping the Celtic spirit alive," Ms McAlinden
"Our festival really works hard to profile young upcoming talent
and support this country's vibrant Celtic scene."
The National Celtic Festival has built a strong international
reputation, with overseas artists vying for a spot on the bill; and
visitors of all ages returning year after year to experience its
warm venues, friendly hospitality and diverse program of music,
dance, art, language and much more.
This year's exciting program is jam-packed with some of the world's
best Celtic talent, coming from a variety of Celtic cross-over
styles, including contemporary, jazz, punk, traditional folk and
authentic Gaelic song.
A very special line-up of international and national artists will
be performing as part of the 10th anniversary festivities, with a
great mix of styles to suit all ages and musical tastes.
There will be the sublime vocal talents of Ireland's Celtic Divas
in concert, including
Lumiere duo Èilìs Kennedy and Pauline Scanlon; and the Noriana
featuring Noriana Kennedy, Nicola Joyce and Noelie McDonnell. Also
young Scottish group Breabach; rising Irish star singer/songwriter
Fiach Moriarty; Shane MacGowan's UK-based The Popes; local boys The
Go Set; Celtic rockers Claymore; The Barleyshakes; and many
"We're going to put on an amazing
weekend for our 10th
birthday, with a series of 'spectaculars' to feature on the
program," Ms McAlinden said.
"The success of this festival is
partly due to the support and commitment of the Portarlington
community, so it will be great to say thank you." From Friday night
until Monday afternoon there will be so much to enjoy, from
full-scale concert to intimate jam sessions, inside the many heated
venues that are all within easy walking distance around
Portarlington. There's even a variety of musical acts set to
perform aboard the tall ship Enterprize as it sets sail across the
A genuinely family-friendly festival,
there will be plenty of children's entertainment, roving
performers, and a fantastic workshop program for both adults and
kids. The workshops offer expert tuition in all manner of Celtic
pursuits including learning musical instruments, Gaelic language,
dancing and more - all included in the ticket price.
The third annual National Golden
Fiddle Awards will be a highlight; as will the piping and drumming
performances and competitions; the informative 'Trad' Conference
sessions; free entertainment during the day on the Village stage;
and the wonderful undercover Celtic market bursting with Celtic
arts and crafts, delicious local produce and quirky Celtic
For further information and to buy
tickets for a day or the whole weekend go to www.nationalcelticfestival.com.