Colin Lillie

Colin Lillie


After introducing you to Colin Lillie in 2018 you have asked us to bring him back …… 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.

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

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

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. 

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!


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!


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!

Penny and the Loose Change

With a huge and diverse experience based in traditional and contemporary folk music, theatre (and possibly too many festival late night sessions) Penny and the Loose Change bring an exhilarating colour and energy to their performance that will have the audience tapping their feet, singing along, weeping and laughing in equal measure. All outstanding artists in their field Aifric Boylan (fiddle), Penny Larkins (singer), Jamie Molloy (guitar & vocals) & Ciaran O’Grady (concertina) came together to share a few songs over a camp fire and have united in their common love of music, story & song. 

The Dixie Chooks

Poignant, satirical, funny and engaging and verrrrrry musical, The Dixie Chooks (Wendy and Moira) belt out their own songs and a few well-known favourites with big voices and lots of instruments. A wonderfully eclectic and truly original interpretation of the acoustic folk singer-songwriter genre. Their harmonies and solo voices are a joy, their musicality on a variety of string instruments precise and their stage-craft infectious!

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!