The National Celtic Festival!

The National Celtic Festival is Australia’s largest and most diverse celebration of Celtic music and culture. Recently Celtic Life International spoke with the event’s publicist, Rochelle Smith.

How long has your festival been running?
This year we are celebrating our 10th year at Portarlington, Victoria, Australia

Is it growing in size and popularity?
The festival is growing in popularity and status within Australia and is now beginning to enjoy international recognition as Australia’s premier Celtic Festival. Over the past three years the size of the event has grown by 30 per cent.

What do attendees like about your festival?
This event makes authentic connections to Celtic culture and brings like-minded people together. The program is very diverse and appeals to all ages. Over 50 per cent of Australia’s population has some Celtic heritage so it is not surprising that Celtic music and cultural traditions are alive and well “down under”. The festival celebrates the Celtic nations of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Cornwall, the Isle of Man and Galicia & Asturias.

What is your focus?
Our focus over the past 10 years has been to provide a high quality event and to build the profile and attendances at the event. We are constantly developing all aspects of this event and have a core value of support and inspiring Celtic traditions and the Celtic Scene in Australia. We are also focusing on building international partnerships which enable a deeper connection to the core of Celtic culture.

What makes the event so unique?
Our event is held in the Australian Winter – so the weather does have a Celtic feeling. The festival educates and provides experiences through workshops in dance, music and the Arts, offering opportunities for people to come together and participate across the different Celtic traditions. There is a very strong emphasis on participation, a characteristic many festivals have moved away from in recent times. The National Celtic Festival provides a unique opportunity to celebrate Celtic culture. It provides opportunities for cultural groups and associations to share and display their traditions to a broader audience. The National Celtic Festival has established itself to be a successful major event that attracts artists and performers from around Australia and internationally. These artists and performers have a strong connection to Celtic Culture and this festival provides opportunities to come together and share expertise.

What’s new this year?
We are celebrating being in Portarlington for 10 years, this year we are offering a packed program of music, dance, song, workshops, language and much more. There will be a range of spectaculars, a Festival Choir and Drum Salute and concerts including the ‘Hush for the Singers’ concert for vocalists, ‘Piping concert’, ‘Festival Fiddles’ fiddle concert.