The Australian Celtic Festival

About the Festival

The Australian Celtic Festival is held over four days during the first week of May each year, with the next festival taking place from 1 to 4 May 2025.

Renowned as the premier Celtic event of New South Wales, it is the only festival in Australia to recognise different Celtic nations each year and has the unique atmosphere of being located at the Australian Standing Stones National Celtic Monument in Glen Innes. 

In 2025, the festival will celebrate its 33rd year and highlight the Celtic nations of Brittany, Cornwall & Wales. 

In addition to a craicing good lineup of national and international music artists, the annual program includes pipe bands, dancers, markets, food and beverage stalls, competitions, official ceremonies, live-action performances and re-enactment groups, children’s entertainment, a host of fringe events around the region, and so much more!

Set in the New England High Country of Northern NSW, 4.5 hours’ drive from Brisbane and 7 hours from Sydney, vibrant autumn colours provide a picturesque backdrop for exploring and savouring the beauty of Glen Innes Highlands. 

Festival Cycles

The Australian Celtic Festival operates on a three-year cycle recognising six Celtic nations.

2025: Brittany, Cornwall & Wales share in common their Brythonic languages. They are the remaining Celts of western Britain, some moving across the channel to Brittany. All three homelands share a bond in holding national Eisteddfod festivals.

2026: Scotland is a strong nation with a proud history and very popular with Australian Celtic Festival attendees as a unique theme. Our town is named after Major Archibald Innes, born in Scotland. With all the cultural colour and spectacle, Scotland will remain a standalone nation.

2027: Ireland & The Isle of Man share cultural similarities and heritage in having Gaelic languages and traditions. While the nations will be combined, the festival will ensure that all honoured nations are celebrated through ceremonies, performer selection themes and gourmet food.

Other nations of course have Celtic history and the Australian Celtic Festival continues to recognise all Celtic heritage within this format.

Events Around Town

During festival week, many fringe events and Celtic-themed experiences, free and ticketed, take place around Glen Innes Highlands, adding to the atmosphere of festival week.

Many of these events are facilitated independently by various organisations and businesses, however, events like the annual Street Parade and 100,000 Welcomes Concert are part of the official festival program each year. 

Australian Standing Stones

The Venue

The Australian Standing Stones hold a significant connection with Celtic people past and present. Erected in 1992 to acknowledge the contributions to Australia made by settlers and descendants from the Celtic homelands to our nation’s culture, these stones form a calendar, not unlike the stones raised by the agricultural Celtic ancestors to mark the changing of seasons.

Throughout the world stone circles are shrouded in mystery and wonder. Although we know the origin story for the Australian Standings Stones, at almost 30 years of age they have formed their own traditions and mystique and are the perfect setting for Celtic ceremony and celebration.

The site at Centennial Parklands, Glen Innes also houses Crofters Cottage, a replica ‘taigh dubh’ (black house) and our very own Excalibur sword. You will also find the Celtic Family Wall with stones from Celtic homelands donated by individuals, families, clans and societies along with other sites of cultural significance including Tynwald Hill and the Hill of Tara.

Experience the colour of costume, sound of music, and movement of dance across a weekend like no other!

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Acknowledgement of Country

The Australian Celtic Festival is held in Glen Innes Highlands, Ngarabul Country.
Glen Innes Severn Council acknowledges and pays respect to the Ngarabul people as the traditional custodians of this land, their elders past, present and emerging, and to Torres Strait Islander people and all First Nations people.