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

Kildara Centre - St Brigid's Well

Melbourne’s Kildara Centre is owned and administered by the Brigidine Sisters Victorian Community and offers a varied program for adult searchers, called “Brigid’s Well,” a peaceful conference venue and a well-equipped library. Like the wells in ancient times, which provided hospitality, healing, compassion and hope to wayfarers, “Brigid’s Well” provides a similar haven for hospitality, learning, spirituality, hope and healing for all who come.


 Kildara Centre is offering three workshops on Celtic Spirituality - 

  • The Wisdom of the Celtic Peoples regarding Creation and Time

  • The Wisdom of Brigid: A Woman of Hospitality & Justice

  • The Wisdom of the Celtic Peoples regarding Law and Order and Everyday Living

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!

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! 


Unsung Heroes of Australian History

Take three multi-talented musicians, powerful stories of ordinary Australians who have done extraordinary things, original songs, evocative images, lush musical arrangements, mudcake rich harmonies, free Anzac biscuits & Turkish delights – and you have Unsung Heroes of Australian History. "These songs drip with the satisfying juices of solid research, spirited lyrics and sublime artistry." 


The Dixie Chooks

Poignant, satirical, funny and engaging and verrrrrry musical, The Dixie Chooks belt out their own songs and a few well-known favourites with big voices and lots of instruments, Wendy and Moira will have you crying till you laugh! “The Dixie Chooks” present 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! 

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.


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".