Live Action & Re-enactment

Don't miss out on all the excitement!

We’re bringing back all your favourite live-action and re-enactment attractions to the festival in 2024, with an exciting lineup of events and demonstrations.

Festival Program Highlights

Check the program for confirmed timings and locations of the below.

Highland Muscle Presents Highland Games

Saturday 4 May:

9am – Heavy Weight for Distance

10.30am Heavy Hammer Throw

12pm to 1pm – Children’s Events – Small Shot Put & Kid’s Caber

1.30pm – Light Stone Put

2.30pm Heavy Stone Put

Sunday 5 May:

9am – Light Weight for Distance

10.30am – Light Hammer Throw

12pm to 1pm – Children’s Events – Small Shot Put & Kid’s Caber

1pm – Caber Toss

2pm – Weight for Height

Get ready to witness raw strength, skill, and Celtic spirit at its finest as Highland Muscle proudly presents Highland Games at the Australian Celtic Festival!

The prowess to compete in the time-honoured traditions of the Highland Games is extraordinary and by attending the festival, you’ll have a front-row seat to witness events from tossing cabers to hurling hammers, as these formidable competitors demonstrate the true essence of highland strength and determination.
 
Sporting guests and athletes will also be in attendance, sharing their insights into the world of strength sports. With MC Sean Murphy leading the way, you’ll be treated to an exhilarating display of athleticism and camaraderie that’s sure to leave you inspired.
 
And for our youngest enthusiasts, don’t miss the chance to experience the thrill of victory firsthand with the Mini Muscle event. Let the little ones unleash their inner champions as they compete for medals and glory in this exciting addition to the festivities.
 
So, gather your family and friends, and prepare to be amazed by the feats of strength and skill on display. Whether you’re cheering from the sidelines or testing your own mettle in the Mini Muscle event, this is one Highland Games you won’t want to miss!

Scottish Backhold Wrestling

9am, Sunday 5 May

Scottish Backhold is a style of folk wrestling originating in Scotland. The wrestlers grip each other around the waist at the back, with the right hand under the opponent’s left arm and the chin resting on the opposite right shoulder. When the referee is sure that both wrestlers have taken a firm grip, he shouts “hold” and the bout starts. Should either wrestler break his hold or touch the ground with any part of his body except his feet, he loses.

Many clubs around Scotland coach and practice this sport with popular clubs from Edinburgh, Carnoustie, Glasgow and Hamilton. Many Highland games take place through the summer months, attracting athletes to come and compete from all over the world. Countries such as France, Iceland, America, England and many more represent their countries annually in their hopes to win a prestigious title.
  • Categories will be decided based on the demographic of applicants, but it is expected we may have males and females, in light, middle and heavy-weight divisions
  • Ages from 14yrs and up
    • All wrestlers required to sign a waiver
    • Ages 14-17 require parental consent
  • Contest start time 9am, Sunday 5 May

Jousting Performances by Nova Hollandia

12.15pm to 1pm & 3.15pm to 4pm, Saturday 4 & Sunday 5 May

Prepare to be transported back in time to an era of chivalry and bravery as knights clad in shining armour take to the field for displays of horsemanship, courage, and sheer spectacle.

With a display that marries tradition with excitement, the jousting events promise to be a highlight of the festival, captivating audiences with every thunderous gallop and clash of lances.

This crowd-pleasing extravaganza is as thrilling as it is skilful, showcasing the artistry and precision of the jousters as they vie for victory in a display of strength and honour.

Featuring two sessions on Saturday and two sessions on Sunday, there are plenty of opportunities to witness the awe-inspiring feats of these modern-day knights.

From the colourful pageantry of the opening procession to the heart-pounding action of the joust itself, this is a spectacle not to be missed.

The jousters will also be hosting Knights School for our littlest festivalgoers:

10am to 11.45am & 1.15pm to 2.45pm Saturday 4 & Sunday 5 May

 

New England Medieval Arts Society

9am to 4pm, Saturday 4 & Sunday 5 May

Step back in time and immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of medieval life with the New England Medieval Arts Society (NEMAS) reenactors group at the Australian Celtic Festival!

Prepare to be transported to a bygone era as you wander through their encampment, where every detail has been meticulously recreated to offer a glimpse into the daily lives of our ancestors.

From the crackling campfire where they sleep under the starry sky to the beautiful crafts, skins, and tents that adorn their surroundings, they breathe life into history with their passion and dedication.

But it’s not just about appearances – the NEMAS group brings medieval times to life through a variety of displays and demonstrations. Marvel at their culinary skills as they cook hearty meals over open flames or watch traditional arts and crafts under their expert guidance.

An T-Arm Albannach

11am to 4pm, Saturday 4 & Sunday 5 May

An T-Arm Albannach is a living history group that reenacts the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745-46 – a pivotal moment in Scottish history.
 
From highland warriors to lowland Scots, experience a dramatic and intriguing showcase of the diverse range of characters and cultures that converged during this tumultuous time, as they portray a small clan presence gathering in support of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s cause

Check out what else is happening at the festival

Check out what else is happening around town

Whilst the main festival event is held over two days at the Australian Standing Stones National Celtic Monument, additional festival fringe events are held at other locations around Glen Innes Highlands, many of which are free!

Local businesses also organise and host their own events, contributing to the festival atmosphere around town for our locals and visitors.

Find out more via the links below!