Saoirse (Gaelic word for freedom) are a vibrant vocal and dance group from Melbourne. Saoirse delight their audiences with their beautiful renditions of traditional Irish ballads and original works, they will join hands to offer some spirited jigs and reels to get your feet tapping.  Saoirse’s aim is to bring beautiful Celtic music to a wider audience, A Saoirse performance will delight the audience with a little bit of everything Celtic including heartfelt ballads, lively tunes and original songs.


Gerry McKeague

Originally from Belfast and now living in Geelong, Gerry was brought up in a musical family where the sharing of music and song was highly valued. He has a unique take on the traditional songs of Ireland and since moving to Australia has performed at the National Celtic Festival and Blackwood Music Festival.


Declan Simpson, Beth McCracken , Ben Stephenson

Declan Simpson (fiddle) and Beth McCracken (flute) play Traditional Irish Music. They have developed an intuitive and exciting stylistic synergy, born out of their immersion in the traditional Irish music scene of Dublin. With tasty accompaniment from Benno Stephenson (guitar) from Trouble In The Kitchen, this trio will crank out some world-class tunes!


Niki na Meadhra

Niki na Meadhra embodies the storyteller, in a warm, captivating and sometimes electrifying style. On her recent tour of Ireland, which included several storytelling festivals and shows in Cork and Dublin, the local seanchais claimed her as one of their own. She invites you to be transported to ancient Ireland and the lands of the Other People, to immerse yourself in tales of heroes, crones, tricksters and maidens. Expect hyperbole, extravagance and wonderment!



A Melbourne-based trio whose decade-long collaboration showcases the best of antipodean celtic music.  With Cath Connelly on celtic Harop, Greg Hunt on violin, mandolin and mandola and Jules Vines on keyboards, whistle and vocals, these gifted musicians offer unique interpretations of traditional tunes and original compositions. A gentle and reviving musical experience!

Damien Leith

Damien Leith

“The rousing renditions of traditional Irish songs were a highlight...” Anna Vlach, The Adelaide Advertiser

... a polished and personable performance from an artist who has ridden his luck with great skill and now is deservedly rolling in four-leaf clover.” Matt Byrne, Sunday Mail

Celtic Piping Club

Celtic Piping Club

Join this Celtic Piping Community !

Stu Tyrrell

Singer-songwriter Stu Tyrrell’s original material speaks of social justice and solidarity through experiences of love, loss, depression and triumph. Breathing new life into traditional English and Celtic Folk songs, Stu re-imagines them into stomping, roots infused arrangements to deliver something completely original. A regular on the festival stages but the first time to Portalrington & NCF.

The Drowsy Maggies

Winning consecutive awards at The National Folk Festival in 2016 and 2017, The Drowsy Maggies are a four-piece all female folk band who are not to be missed. Releasing their self-titled debut album with producer Luke Plumb in 2017, these Melbourne-based girls are one of the finest and most versatile new acts on the Australian folk scene. Playing their original harmony-filled songs and fiery fiddle tunes, The Drowsy Maggies will have you dancing one moment and your heart melting the next

Adelaide Scottish Fiddle Club

Adelaide Scottish Fiddle Club

Combining our Adelaide Fringe gigs Journey around Scotland and Scotland Abroad, the ASFC will take you on a world tour exploring Scottish-influenced tunes from places like Nova Scotia, Finland, USA and even Australia!

Maria Forde

Maria Forde

Maria Forde is a proud Irish Australian artist with a career paved on both sides of the globe. Maria will wow you with music drawn from her 8 albums and entertain you with her stories. You'll be laughing or crying by the end of her performance. A must see! 


Brid Harper & Dermot Byrne (Ire)

Brid Harper & Dermot Byrne (Ire)

Dermot Byrne was awarded TG4’s Traditional Musician of the Year in 2013. From Buncrana in Co. Donegal, he is recognised as one of the great accordion players of his generation. Tyrone resident.

Bríd Harper is a senior All-Ireland Fiddle Champion and is enormously respected both as a teacher and performer.

This duo visit Australia for the first time.


Four young musicians from Melbourne & Geelong, AMBER are creating a fresh approach to folk music that is both exciting and exquisite. Taking the instruments of the string quartet and integrating piano and vocals, Caitlin Martin, Indyana Kippin, Matt Smith and Sean Smith will have you jigging one moment and shedding a tear the next .

Don’t miss this brilliant young quartet as they launch what are sure to be extraordinary musical careers.


Telenn Tri

Telenn Tri – string wizardry at its best! Driving rhythms combine the delicate sound of harp, punchy accordion, and infectious fiddle dance music. Featuring harp, piano accordion, Irish bouzouki, guitar and Scottish fiddle, Telenn Tri perform music from deep in the heart of Brittany, to the Scottish Highlands, giving you a true taste of what Celtic music can be, combining new compositions with traditional Scottish and Irish music.

Senor Cabrales

Señor Cabrales -  six traditional musicians hail from northern Spain and Australia, their unique sound, combining Spanish bagpipes, fiddle, flute, mandolin, bouzouki and bodhran, has been thrilling audiences across Australia.  Let them take you on an exciting Celtic musical journey from the wild Atlantic coast of northern Spain, through Brittany to the windswept and haunted outer islands of Scotland…  Hand-crafted from arcane regional components, Cabrales is unique, pungent and not for the faint-hearted.  Hidden in darkness in vertiginous mountain caves in vain attempts to achieve maturity, the Señor emerges sporadically to delight aficionados (and unsuspecting others). Often complex, fruity and biting, mouldy, sometimes a mite crumbly, but never, never predictable.  Best enjoyed with several tumblers of rustic sidra, or a crisp alboriño.  Approach….with caution!  


Catherine Fraser Trio

Catherine Fraser Trio

Scots/Australian fiddler Catherine Fraser has an international reputation as an exceptional performer and teacher. She has toured and collaborated with some of the biggest names in the Scottish fiddle world, and her current line-up includes the expertise of Trent Arkleysmith, guitar, and Rachel Johnston, cello. The resulting Trio is one of masterful musicianship that is fast making a name across the country. The Catherine Fraser Trio will present a vibrant programme of fiddle music, delectably arranged by these outstanding musicians, including selections from Catherine's 7th Studio Album "After the Haar". 


Claymore is a Celtic multi instrumental powerhouse. A highly energetic band with their own troupe of Highland Dancers. Their shows are always high energy and exciting to watch! If audience participation, great music dance and laughs are what you’re after, Claymore are the band for you at this year’s festival. Not to be missed!

Fiona Ross



An esteemed tradition bearer in her native Scotland, Fiona Ross is flying the flag for the Scots song tradition in her adopted home of Australia. She brings knowledge, passion & commitment to her performance - her honest, evocative singing style & extensive repertoire showcasing the richness, depth & diversity of the tradition. “Fiona Ross – a very special Scots singer of great cultural importance” Pete Heywood, The Living Tradition, Scotland

— Una

Tim Scanlan Trio


Tim Scanlan Trio


One man band Tim Scanlan teams up with Japanese fiddler Mana Okubo and slide didgeridoo maestro Rhys Crimmin, mixing ancient tunes and drones with modern beats and sounds.(28*) Over the last 2 years they've taken their music around the world from the streets of the Edinburgh Fringe to the live houses of Tokyo, where they recorded a live album of Quebecois, Irish and other tunes and songs.





Not even in Ireland would you hear a sound as rich, full bodied and unique as Zeon. Like a fine Irish single malt, their liberated melodies were distilled in the streets of Ireland and matured in the laneways and bars of Melbourne, Australia. The four piece fuse traditional and modern Irish tunes, and now in their sixth year, Zeon are gathering momentum with a widespread following. Their commitment to their performance will make you stomp and sing and shed a tear as you hear new tunes and old favourites.