Geelong RSL Pipes & Drums

Geelong RSL Pipes and Drums was formed in July 2002 and is Geelong's only competing pipe band. Geelong RSL Pipes and Drums first entered the competition arena at Ballarat in February 2003.

You will recognize the band in their Red Robertson Tartan - then will join us on Saturday.

Band members will pop up throughout the week-end for small band performances.

Victorian Piping Assoication

Pipers from the Victorian Pipers Association will delve into four seminal works, performing a sample of the most moving pieces you’ll hear.

The Golden Age of Piping

Piobaireachd - Gaelic for piping and sometimes called the ‘Classical Music’ of the Great Highland Bagpipe. 

This program explores Piobaireachd composed by the legendary MacCrimmon family of Skye. Spanning 300 years they were the hereditary pipers to the MacLeods of Dunvegan, composing some of the most beautiful and emotive music for bagpipes ever conceived, giving rise to a Golden Age of Piping. Their tradition developed the instrument like never before and lifted it to portray haunting themes and complex variations as they sought a vehicle for the expression of their tribulations and joys, sorrow and anguish.

National Celtic Festival Piping Challenge

Recognising the influence of legendary Scottish piper Gordon Duncan, we’ve invited 4 of Australia’s premier solo pipers to compete in a 15 minute piping challenge playing tunes written by Gordon, to win the 2018 National Celtic Festival Piping Challenge. Fingers flying, music flowing, this is Australia’s piping at its best

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!


Eric Purdie

Delivered in a 'stand-up' Glasgow style, Eric Purdie's comedy presentation features humorous stories and anecdotes about life in Glasgow and the humour of the streets. His outrageous gags and unaccompanied songs provide a window into a culture few of us have seen. Eric's stories tell of an Industrial Scotland and the Socialist Struggle in which he grew up. Eric describes life in the shipyards and on the building sites where he encountered many characters and witnessed many improbable but true sets of circumstances.

Altan (IRE)

Altan (IRE)


No Irish traditional band in the last dozen years has had a wider impact on audiences and music lovers throughout the world than Altan. With their exquisitely produced award-winning recordings and their heartwarming, dynamic live performances, Altan have moved audiences from Donegal to Tokyo to Seattle. Throughout, there has been the unwavering commitment of the band to bringing the beauty of traditional music to contemporary audiences.

Melbourne Comhaltas

Melbourne Comhaltas is a vibrant, welcoming group of expats and locals who, as an organisation, have spent nearly 50yrs spreading and celebrating Irish culture through music and dance. Their shows are sure to delight and get audiences keen to give Irish ceili dancing a go. Our performances will showcase some of the groups' favourite songs and dances, and workshops will get anyone up and playing or singing- no matter their age or skill level.

St Joseph's College Celtic Group

St Joseph’s College Celtic band began as a small trio of teacher and students having a casual session at lunchtimes. Over the past 4 years, the group has welcomed many new members from different year levels and teaching faculties who love to play music together. Taking their inspiration from the Irish and Scottish traditions, bringing tunes learned at sessions and fiddle camps throughout the year, these musicians love to play their jigs and reels for all who care to listen! 

Appalachian Heaven StringBand

The best old-time Americana band in Australia; with their trademark three-part harmony,  mesmeric guitar, fiery fiddle, haunting cello and driving claw hammer banjo, the Appalachian Heaven StringBand engages with audiences of all ages.  This band aims to share their enjoyment of playing traditional, contemporary tunes, original ballads and fiery dance tunes; this band loves to entertain and interact with audiences. 


Hat Fitz and Cara

Hat Fitz and Cara


Hat Fitz and Cara are a striking pair who seldom fail to deliver an electric live performance on stage. Their original compositions are steeped in Folk and Blues with an authentic Gospel sound as if written from a time once forgotten. They are festival favourites throughout Canada, Australia, Europe, and the UK and it has been said they pack more energy into one song than most have in an entire career.

Aussie bluesman and Irish Songstress get married, form a band and make great music together. This shabby hill country blues oozes cool.
— Guitar & Bass Magazine

Ryan O'Shea Irish Dancers

These Dancers come from many regions of Victoria, and perform regularly at all types of events, from local charitable functions to larger corporate events, Nursing Homes and Aged Care facilities.  Many are experienced International Dancers, having presented their Irish Culture throughout Europe and Asia.   Their Teacher, Geraldine Ryan, is a well-known authority on Irish Dancing and is recognised as the senior, longest active Registered Teacher in the world. 

They are well-known at many Folk/Celtic Festivals for their lively and entertaining performances .  The tiny tots are always a delight, and are the professionals of tomorrow.

Geelong Scottish Dance

Geelong Scottish Dance has been a proud supporter and participant of the National Celtic Festival for many years.  Dancers will entertain you with traditional dance and part-traditional with an upbeat tempo.  The performance displays various skill levels by children and young adults.

Cathy's Celtic Dance

Cathie's Celtic Dance is an energetic group of dancers from Albury-Wodonga and Beechworth. Opening in 2005 with a few students, Cathie's Celtic Dance has grown into a large group of performers of all ages that regularly perform throughout Victoria and New South Wales. The group performs to both traditional and modern music, with both traditional and original choreography which includes, soft shoe, hard shoe, Ceili and group dances.

Rich Davies & the Low Road

Rich Davies & the Low Road


With a poet's heart and rocker's soul, Rich Davies & The Low Road deliver a 'foot-stomping contemporary folk attack' (Mick Thomas). Hailed as 'The Pogues meets Springsteen', and having spent most of the last 18 months wowing audiences across Australia, the award winning songwriter and his formidable band are renowned for their rousing live show, as they peel back the skin of rock’n’roll to expose bones of folk and roots.

Think Springsteen meets the Pogues, glorious and visceral folk music
— Post To Wire

Victorian Irish Dance Academy

The Victorian Irish Dance Academy will perform an energetic dance display incorporating the best of both traditional and modern Irish Dance styles. The dancers will perform Céili dances such as ‘The 3 Tunes’ and ‘The Eight Hand Jig’ as well as fast-paced modern choreography reels and jigs in both hard and soft shoes.

Paddy McHugh

Paddy McHugh shoots from the hip, doesn’t pull punches.

Released through ABC Music in September 2017, City Bound Trains, produced by Aria award winner Brendan Gallagher (Karma County), is a neat and strong package that showcases this growing songwriter’s talent to a tee. His song writing is honest and true, tales of life in Australia told by a man who’s grown up in same, as raw and real as the country in which he took his first steps.

Raised in Tamworth, imbued from a young age with country music, before moving off to Sydney and immersing himself in the city’s gritty punk scene, McHugh now calls Brisbane home, he and his family ensconced within the hot damp that defines the Queensland capital, home to a slew of primal, passionate music over the years.

Mick McHugh

Irish contemporary folk singer-songwriter Mick McHugh has toured Internationally, played Bluesfest, Port Fairy Folk Fest, National Celtic Fest, The Sydney Opera House, supported UK folk legend Ralph McTell (Streets of London), Amy Shark, Damien Dempsey, and recorded and written with Australian legend Shane Howard of ‘Goanna’ band. The Irish troubadour released his debut studio album February 2018. The first single release from the album won Best Music Video at the 2017 Dolphin Music Awards

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

Paul McKenna Band (SCOT)

Paul McKenna Band (SCOT)


Glasgow’s Paul McKenna has travelled the world as a musician for over a decade; collecting the stories of everyday and exceptional lives. His vibrato is immediately recognizable and when he begins to weave a tale, audiences are stilled. His bandmates (Ewan Baird, Conor Markey, Robbie Greig, Conal McDonagh) weave exceptional melodies with traditional instrumentation and their sound has carried them to no less than six major Canadian Folk Festivals in 2017.

The best folk band to have come out of Scotland in the last twenty years
— New York Times

Colin Lillie

Colin Lillie


Scottish-born, Alice Springs-based Colin Lillie is one of a kind. Capturing the kind of intensity that Colin has on an album or a live performance is something that every musician aspires to create. Whether it’s because of past experiences, a knack for songwriting, his powerful voice or combination of things, what remains true is that every time Colin Lillie picks up a guitar and opens his mouth something special happens, the passion shines through and the music becomes real. 


Squeebz are a band of Melbourne-based musicians with a wealth of experience playing and performing Celtic music. With a fresh approach to interpreting traditional Irish, Cape Breton, Québécois and Breton music, this configuration of award-winning musicians deliver high-energy tunes and songs.