Sásta (roughly translating to ‘Happy’ in Gaelic) are the most dynamic Irish band in Australia today, making a huge impact on the Irish music scene in Australia in recent times. The band is made up of multi-instrumentalists who have performed at the highest national level. Pumping reels with phenomenal energy, and of course all of your favourite Irish songs, as well as some superbly penned original tunes & songs that will have you up and dancing in no time! Sásta have released two albums, toured interstate all over Australia as well as playing gigs in France, New Zealand & touring in New Caledonia. They also have supported international acts such as Aslan, Mundy, Damien Dempsey, Sharon Shannon and even Shane McGowan’s band ‘The Popes’ (formerly of 'The Pogues'), Sásta perform at the top festivals around Australia .

Celtic Ska Collective- ONE NIGHT ONLY!

Get ready to dance! As a change of pace (and musical genre!) we will have a special one off Ska/Reggae set on Sunday night at The Celtic Club! It came to our attention, that whilst booking folk/trad bands for the festival, within these acts, lurked members of some of the highest flying Australian Ska & Reggae bands, such as The Melbourne Ska Orchestra, Sunny Coast Rude Boys, Ska Vendors & Shanty Town!  If you liked dancing to Madness, The Specials, UB40 & Jimmy Cliff back in the day...... This is the band for you! One Step Beyond!

Steve Boyd – guitar/vocals (Steve Boyd’s Rum Reverie)
Alex Burns – pedal steel/harmonica/vocals (Solo artist)
Tommy McEwan – drums/vocals (Louis King and the Liars Club)
Craig Kelly – electric and Double Bass (Shanty Town)
Stevie Montgomery – vocals (Melbourne Ska Orchestra / Ska Vendors)
Dave Evans – keys (Band Who Knew Too Much)
Stuart Ferguson – trumpet / vocals (Melbourne Ska Orchestra)
Mick Hughes - Vocals/Guitar - (Sunny Coast Rude Boys / Sásta)

Unsung Heroes of Australian History

Take three multi-talented musicians, powerful stories of ordinary Australians who have done extraordinary things, original songs, evocative images and the gratuitous distribution of Anzac biscuits, Turkish delights, lush musical arrangements, mudcake rich harmonies- and you have Unsung Heroes of Australian History. Bruce Watson, Moira Tyers and Wendy Ealey take you on a powerful journey through Australia's history - celebrating in story, song and images. A not to be missed festival event!

Trail of Tales

Now there’s a tongue twister for you and if you are clever enough to repeat that 6 times, you will surely and easily be able to follow the exciting journey waiting for you among the hills and hummocks of the Portarlington Celtic Festival Fairyland.

There are all sorts of fairies, goblin and leprechaun stories awaiting all of you during this fascinating journey and maybe even some of the little people themselves!

There are tales of monsters, magic harps, fairies, enchanted woods and many,many wee people and stories of magic that must be heard to be believed.

The stories will capture your imagination and take to legendary lands and places where you can relive wonderful tales of yore and make believe.

It will be just a short, but worthwhile journey with fascinating places to stop and listen to the ‘Shanachie’ or Storytellers telling tales of magic and wonder and who knows, you might even find a leprechaun’s Crock o’ Gold at the end of a rainbow?


MAY THE ROAD RISE UP by Rosemary Jenkinson, dir. Stephen Kelly (C21 Theatre)

Cast: Christine Clare

A one-woman dark comedy set in contemporary Belfast that is an energetic, funny and compelling tale of how easy it is, with the right (or wrong) combination of events, to slip into homelessness. It’s highly topical in its unflinching look at credit card debt, the benefits system, addiction to prescription drugs, and living on the streets  

Mia is a Tesco’s delivery driver.  However, she gets into credit card debt.  To relieve the stress, she begins to party too much and take recreational drugs at the weekend.  She injures her back at work from doing too much overtime.  She has to leave her job and she goes on benefits, trying to claim ESA, but, in being truthful, she fails to score enough points. 

Mia takes a range of prescription painkillers like Lyrica due to her back pain and, as she becomes hooked, her mind becomes fuzzier.   

She can’t manage to pay the rent, thanks to the bedroom tax, and the landlord evicts her.  She has nowhere to go, so she ends up sleeping on her friend Paddy’s sofa until his partner asks her to leave.  She tries to get in at a homeless hostel but it’s full and she has no choice but to live on the freezing streets with some failed asylum seekers.  She begs in order to buy enough prescription drugs to make her life bearable.   

Out of the blue, a year later, she meets her old friend, Paddy, in the street.  Paddy has cleaned up his act and has just opened a party planner business and is looking for someone to set up party venues.  Paddy reminds her of the fun times they used to have together and offers her a job.  As Mia attempts to lift herself from the streets, it strikes her that she has been through so much, she can no longer party herself but, in a poignant glimpse of hope for the future, she can focus on helping others to celebrate great times. 

Rosemary Jenkinson
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