Portarlington’s National Celtic Festival has been cancelled for 2021

Portarlington’s National Celtic Festival has been cancelled for 2021

The Celtic affair was due to go ahead across the June long-weekend.

Just when we thought we had moved on from the festival cancellations in Victoria, COVID rears its ugly head and takes us back to all the drudgery of 2020.

Due to the current Government restrictions enforcing the current lockdown situation in Victoria, the National Celtic Festival has cancelled its 2021 edition, which was due to take over Portarlington’s foreshore and surrounding haunts over the wintery long weekend in June.

The key takeaways

  • National Celtic Festival has been cancelled
  • The festival reveals the uncertainty surrounding restrictions as the reason behind the cancellation
  • The festival may be rescheduled in future but there are no further details at this time

Keep up with the latest festival news via our website.

Attracting thousands of visitors every year, presenting concerts across 14 stages over four days, with showcases, dance, theatre, literature readings, masterclasses and more celebrating all things Celtic and Craic, the local festival announced the news on Facebook on Saturday.

“We regret to announce that the National Celtic Folk Festival 2021 will not be going ahead on the June long weekend,” the statement read.

“This has been a very difficult decision for us. We understand the lockdown will end before the long weekend, but we and our contractors have lost one week’s work prior to coming on-site. This is a crucial week in our planning and preparation. Our decision not to go ahead with the festival eliminates the high risk of the lockdown being extended and a possible scaled return to pre-lock down capacities. Both these scenarios would impact our suppliers and stakeholders and venue capacities which would not allow us to put on the event we had planned for.

“We will assess our position at the end of this lockdown with the hope to MAYBE reschedule the event in the coming months, but we don’t have any further details at this early stage.

“This is heartbreaking for all of us, considering we had to cancel our 18th birthday in 2020. We were feeling excited about going ahead in 2021 and buoyed by everyone’s support and encouragement. We know this outcome will impact many of your plans, and this only makes it harder and more disappointing to have made this decision.”

For the past 17 iterations, the festival has showcased some of the world’s most culturally rich performers and introducing fresh up and coming act. The talent is second to none, but it’s the diversity of this festival that gives the National Celtic Festival a distinct edge, attracting audiences from all walks of life.

Its second cancellation in two years will hurt not only the festival but dedicated festival-goers who look forward to the event year after year.

The festival had already announced its first lineup, boasting the likes of Boyle native, banjo player and singer Maggie Carty and her band; innovative Melbourne-based trad-folk act Trouble in the Kitchen; high-energy roots duo Hat Fitz and Cara; Yackandandah bluegrass musician and comedian Pete Denahy; Melbourne-via-Scotland alternative rock folkster Rich Davies; Candelo country group The New Graces; Glasgow-born singer Fiona Ross and ARIA award-winning guitarist Shane O’Mara; Australia’s first bush band The Bushwhackers; and the Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club, who take traditional and contemporary Scottish music and adds their unique flavours.

All current ticket holders will be refunded over the coming weeks. If the festival is rescheduled to another date, current ticket holders will be notified for the first opportunity to purchase a new ticket.

Artists, performers, volunteers, suppliers, market stalls and partners will be contacted individually.

For more information, visit the website.