Portarlington’s National Celtic Festival returns, unveiling the first look at its 2021 lineup

Portarlington’s National Celtic Festival returns, unveiling the first look at its 2021 lineup

Rug up, put your winter woollies on and dive head first into this Celtic affair.

In some refreshingly positive news for the region, the National Celtic Festival has announced its return for 2021, transforming the Portarlington foreshore and surrounding haunts into a bustling winter-wonderland of talented musicians and performers over the wintery long weekend in June.

The key takeaways

  • National Celtic Festival returns for 2021
  • The festival has announced its first lineup, boasting with incredible national talent
  • Tickets are on sale now

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, this year’s festival will look a little bit different, albeit still a long weekend to remember.

For those well-versed with the Irish and Scottish traditions, the National Celtic Festival is compulsory. Meanwhile, for those not initiated, it is a wonderful surprise to find such amazing music and dedicated musicians in our midst.

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.

While we might not be seeing the usual international headliners, the festival has already announced its first lineup, boasting with incredible national talent. So far festival-goers will be seeing 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.

Along with the focus in diverse genres of music, the festival is known for delving deep into the culture to include countless comedy, singing sessions, dance, literature, medieval sports and theatre troupes, all of which you can probably expect to see at this year’s return festival.

With an easy 90-minute drive out of Melbourne to the stunning Bellarine Peninsula, a 40-minute ferry ride from Sorrento to Queenscliff, or a 90-minute ferry ride from Melbourne’s Docklands that goes direct to Portarlington, there’s no excuse to miss experiencing Australia’s premier Celtic Folk Festival.

Start digging out your warmest tartan attire, it all goes down on from 11-14 June, 2021. More acts are due to be announced soon, and tickets are on sale now via the website.