National Celtic Festival: Celebrating 20 Festivals in Portarlington

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National Celtic Festival: Celebrating 20 Festivals in Portarlington

Words by Staff Writer

The 20th edition of the National Celtic Folk Festival in Portarlington on Wadawurrung Country, Victoria marks a significant milestone.

This landmark event promises to be even more spectacular, with festivities that honour the festival’s rich history while looking towards an exciting future.

Throughout the festival grounds and township of Portarlington attendees can expect an array of live music performances across over 10 stages and venues, and activities that showcase the diversity and vibrancy of folk and Celtic culture. From traditional music sessions to contemporary interpretations of folk, there will be something for everyone to enjoy. 

Festival director Una McAlinden’s dedication to bringing in fresh performers ensures that each year’s lineup is diverse and exciting. With both new talents and returning favourites gracing the stage, this year’s National Celtic Festival on 7 – 10 June is a must-see!

This years program boasts a lineup of familiar faces and first-timers including New Brunswick Canada four-piece band The Lumber Jills who are set to offer old time tunes with a contemporary twist; skilled and dynamic Glasgow trio Megan MacDonald, Chloë Bryce, and Calum McIlroy; and finalists for the 2023 Australian Folk Music Awards, flamboyant seven-piece act Gusto Gusto. Tasmanian brother Homebru will bring their unique blend of contemporary Celtic folk and festival favourites Celtic rock band, Claymore, Scottish singer, Rich Davies, and Australian folk singer-songwriter sister duo, The Maes, return to the festival, adding to the excitement of the 20th National Celtic Folk Festival in Portarlington.

In addition to the lineup of over 80 acts there will be workshops in everything from songwriting, instrumental, dance, story, sound bath and industry talks that attendees can anticipate an unforgettable experience. Food and drink options abound, with delicious offerings from various food trucks to satisfy any palate. Enjoy a Guinness or a local bevvy and some live music in the Celtic Club or Village Tavern before wandering over to one of the town venues for a workshop or concert with a festival artist.

Exploring the festival market is a must-do, where attendees can find unique handmade items and tasty treats. For those seeking a bit of adventure, a cruise on the Tall Ship offers a memorable experience on Corio Bay.

Tickets to attend this year’s National Celtic Festival are on sale now.