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

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

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

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. 

Siobhan Owen

Siobhan Owen


The haunting vocals and soothing harp of internationally acclaimed, Welsh-born, South Australia-based Siobhan Owen will transport you to the ancient and magical lands of the Celts. Winner of the 2017 Australian Celtic Music Awards "Best Female Artist", Siobhan will sing a selection of heart-wrenching traditional laments and contemporary Celtic songs. Her repertoire includes songs in the Welsh, Irish, Scottish, Breton, Cornish and Manx languages.

Heart-wrenching traditional Celtic ballads entwined with original contemporary Celtic songs… all woven together by Siobhán’s exquisite, emotive voice.


Traditional or folk music could scarcely be considered complete without reference to the rich, extensive archive of Celtic song, which has spread with our emigrants to every corner of the world and has been passed from one generation to the next. Claddagh, a most exciting and versatile traditional folk band prides itself on its variety of styles and songs, ensuring that no two consecutive performances offer the same entertainment - great line up and special guest!


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.


Trouble in the Kitchen

Trouble in the Kitchen


Celebrating 20 years of playing together, Trouble in the Kitchen return with new material. Trouble in the Kitchen have earned a reputation as world class performers of traditional Irish music. They have succeeded in beautifully weaving together classic Irish traditional music with original material and a strong dose of music from the Australian-Irish tradition, and in doing so their sound has developed a distinctive, innovative twist. 


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. 



Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club

The Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club takes traditional and contemporary Scottish music and adds their unique flavours, drawing also on Scandinavian, Quebecois and other influences from around the world. They regularly collaborate with some of the world’s best traditional musicians. Come and experience their charming and exhilarating shows, and feel free to jump up and dance along!

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.



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 & Shane O'Mara



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 & commitment to her performance, her honest singing style showcasing the richness & diversity of the tradition. Fiona joins forces with Australian guitar maestro Shane O’Mara to deliver a captivating set of traditional Scots songs with a contemporary edge.

— Una

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.



Mark has been playing to audiences in Ireland and Australia for over thirty years, as a member of Claddagh or as a solo artist. In more recent times he is often accompanied by his wife, Mary McEvilly Butler, an accomplished Irish traditional fiddler.

Claddagh take great delight in playing requested songs from the audience, which is a distinct change from playing a defined set list of songs and tunes. The premise is that the audience will likely have come to the festival in the hope of hearing a favourite or memorable song, and this is the one performance where their desired song can be asked for and played. It lends to a happy, satisfied audience and invariably a great sing-along with fun audience participation. 

Gerry & Mary McKeague

This Belfast brother and sister duo grew up with music all around them but never actually played together until Mary came to Australia this year. They hope that you will enjoy the tunes & songs from Ulster.

Gerry has a unique take on the traditional songs of Ireland - esspeocally in his  arrangements and rhythms and since moving to Australia has performed at the National Celtic Festival and Blackwood Music Festival. Gerry will be joined by his sister Mary - 

Mary has been playing harp since the age of seven. While studying music at Newcastle university she learnt from teachers Máire Ní Chathasaigh and Desi Wilkinson. She has taken a year off her teaching job to travel around Australia with her partner, Zac & is delighted to be able to perform with her brother at Portarlington.’

Declan Simpson, Beth McCracken , Benno 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!