The National Celtic Music Festival

The annual National Celtic Music Festival is a great fun and community event held on the Bellarine Peninsula in Portarlington on the long weekend in June.

It is one of the great Victorian music festivals and an insiders tip for your Melbourne event planner.

Celtic music refers to folk music from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Cornwall, the Isle of Man, Galicia and Asturias – the Celtic Nations.

It is a lose term that covers orally transmitted traditional music as well as new Celtic styles and some popular music.

Portarlington is a great setting for the festival - cold weather, warm cosy venues, relaxed atmosphere, music and lots of craic. "Craic" is an Irish word for fun, entertainment, and enjoyable conversation – the relaxed exuberance the Irish are well known for.

About the Festival

The National Celtic Festival is Australia’s largest Celtic event, celebrating the diversity of the unique music and cultures - and their contribution to Australia - of each of the Celtic nations.

There is world-class music, dance, song, poetry and language, art and craft, even quirky cuisine (haggis burger anyone?!), showcasing a tremendous array of talent from around the world.

“Haggis” is a Scottish dish that consists of sheep’s heart, liver and lungs mixed with onion, oatmeal and seasoning traditionally simmered the stomach of the slaughtered animal– in case you’d like to know!

Portarlington and the Bellarine Peninsula

Portalington is a picturesquely set harbour town on the south end Corio Bay, just over one hour from Melbourne. It is surrounded by some of Australia’s best vineyards and glorious water views – on a good day with Melbourne skyline.

Festival venues are cosy and heated and within easy walking distance. They include a great pub with open fires, the Wine Bar, Celtic Club, a heritage restaurant, historic churches and more.

You can even enjoy performances from a variety of Celtic acts while sailing across the bay on the majestic tall ship The Enterprize.

Music, Dance, Workshops

From Friday night to Monday afternoon you can enjoy a packed program of world-class musical and dance acts. There is the National Golden Fiddle Awards, a Gaelic choir, as well as countless performances and sessions of anything resembling Celtic – from traditional to contemporary.

You can learn Celtic dancing or Irish step dancing – and then let lose at the Ceili (pronounced ‘Kay-lee’), a massive Celtic dance party lead by the best Ceili band in Australia.

You can also learn to play the Celtic harp, recite Gaelic poetry or participate in a range of workshops - for adults and kids – all part of the deal.

There is also a crafts market, full of Celtic treasures, fresh local produce and a variety of foods. On the Village Stage you can get a taste of the festival’s wonderful musical program for free.

Ticketing for the National Celtic Music Festival

All workshops and performance are included in the price of the festival ticket. You can buy a day tickets at the festival (unless sold out) or pre-purchase a ticket for the whole weekend (kids under 14 are free). National Celtic Festival

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