Attracting over 15,000 punters every year, the National Celtic Festival transforms Portarlington’s foreshore and surrounding haunts into a bustling winter-wonderland of talented musicians and performers, presenting concerts across 14 stages over 4 days, with showcases, dance, theatre, literature readings, masterclasses and more.
It's Australia’s premiere Celtic Folk festival and is rich in culture, music, dance and theatre. The Festival uses a range of venues within the town, including community halls and spaces, the hotel, restaurants, cafes and churches. Marquees are also set up on the foreshore to provide additional venues; these include the Village Stage, Celtic Club, Wine Bar, and Celtic Markets. An easy 90-minute drive from Melbourne or journey across the bay via Port Phillip Ferries, Portarlington is nestled between the Bellarine Peninsula’s renowned vineyards and the famous mussel farms of Corio Bay. When the festival comes to town, the normally quiet bay side village comes to life with the music, laughter and passion of the Celtic spirit. The festival caters for all age groups and has become an annual event for families and friends to gather, offering time to relax and experience Celtic and Folk culture.
Everything is in easy walking distance and the venues are warm and cosy. And the lovely folk of Portarlington will be as welcoming and supportive as ever. Popular artists playing this year include The Young Folk, Maggie Carty & Máirtín Staunton, The Lumber Jills, Colin Lillie, The Maes, Claddagh, Rich Davies & The Low Road, Fiona Ross & Shane O'Mara and Bush Gothic.