Program

What's on in 2022

Join us for our 30th anniversary celebration. We have an action-packed program as well as many events hosted by various venues around Glen Innes Highlands. Our 2022 Official Australian Celtic Festival events include:

  • Thu 28 Apr – Ceud Mile Failte! 100,000 Welcomes Concert – at the Glen Innes & District Services Club*
  • Fri 29 Apr – Official Opening Ceremony in the Town Hall Square
  • Fri 29 Apr – Medieval Long Table Dinner at the Australian Standing Stones*
  • Sat 30 Apr –Street Parade along Grey Street
  • Sat 30 Apr – Celts in the Park at the Rotunda in Kind Edward Park
  • Sat 30 Apr & Sun 1 May – Australian Celtic Festival at the Australian Standing Stones*
  • Sat 30 Apr – Welsh Choir Concert at the Chapel Theatre*

*Tickets required for entry 

THE MAIN EVENT!
Australian Celtic Festival

When: Sat 30 Apr & Sun 1 May Where: Australian Standing Stones, Centennial Parklands Entry: $30 – $75 (Booking fees apply) We’ve got an exciting line up of talented artists and performers gracing our stages with music on the Sapphire and Ruby stages and dancing on the Crystal stage. Attend workshops and presentations in the Emerald marquee – where the Celtic Cultural Awards will be presented. Around the stones witness the traditional clan ceremonies and instrumental bands, and wander among the Celtic market and food stalls. We’re also bringing the live action with Jousting and Medieval re-enactments, Highlands Games and Strongman competition and a Celtic kid’s marquee. Discover our line up here and get your festival pass to enjoy all the action! 

Ceud Mile Failte! 100,000 Welcomes! Concert

When: Thursday 28 Apr 6pm – 9pm

Where: Glen Innes & District Services Club

Entry: $12.50 –$15 (Booking fees apply)

The first concert of the Australian Celtic Festival offers a taste for what’s to come over the weekend. Featuring performances by Asleep at the Reel, North & Elsewhere, Cape Byron Celtic Dance, Flashjack and Tara.

Please note ticket is for the concert only. Dinner is not included in the ticket price. Meals available for purchase at the Crystal Room restaurant.

Medieval Long Table Dinner

When: Friday 29 Apr 5pm – 8pm

Where: Australian Standing Stones

Entry: $35 (Booking fees apply)

Who will be crowned King and Queen on this night of knights and all things Camelot? From 5pm the bar opens and you can be entertained by roving performers, Celtic music and hours of entertainment. Enjoy a Medieval Feast of delicious meats and accompaniments in the Sapphire Marquee by Smo-KING Barbeque. 

After dinner, there will be a Ceilidh and all are welcome to enjoy the atmosphere free from 8pm to 10pm.

*Image is not an accurate representation of this new experience.

Cantorian Sydney Male Voice Choir Concert

When: Saturday 30 Apr – 6pm for 6.30 start

Where: Glen Innes Chapel Theatre

Entry: $25. Booking fees apply.

Witness the spectacular Cantorian Sydney Male Voice Choir plus special guest soloist, sopranos Tessa Hayward. Cantorion means ‘Singers’ in Welsh and the Choir follows in the fine Welsh tradition of male voice choirs. The Choir is made up of rich male voices which sing many familiar, uplifting and moving songs. The concert includes 2 x 45 minute sets and intermission.

Street Parade

When: Saturday 30 Apr – 9.30am

Where: Town Hall Square, Grey street

Entry: Free, all welcome

Participate or watch the pipe bands, clans and societies march along Grey Street. A favourite activity enjoyed by all!

Celts in the Park

When: Saturday 30 Apr – 10.30am to 2pm 

WhereRotunda in Kind Edward Park

Entry: Free, all welcome

After the Street Parade, if you aren’t heading up to the festival be sure to grab a picnic blanket, some food from the main street and head to the parklands to join in the free entertainment at the Rotunda.

Other Events

Join in the action around town. There are many events scheduled at various venues during the Australian Celtic Festival, adding to the atmosphere around town. Keep up to date – we’ll be promoting events happening around town on our Facebook page as they are confirmed.

Meet our Performers

Meet our confirmed line up for 2022! Please note our line-up is subject to change. You can download the schedule here.

Musicians and bands

John Williamson

That’s right! Australian Music Legend John Williamson will headline the 2022 Festival. He said, ‘I’m delighted to be performing at the Australian Celtic Festival in Glen Innes. My songs are basically Celtic with an Aussie accent, blended with our own songbirds and the didgeridoo. Glen Innes in the New England district has the perfect atmosphere for this event and I look forward to sharing my music with the people of the region and afar.’ 

The 2022 Festival is funded by the NSW Government.

Cantorion Sydney Male Voice Choir

Cantorion means ‘singer’ in Welsh and the choir follows in the fine Welsh tradition of male voice choirs. Founded in 2005, the group confines its repertoire to classical, folk and sacred music. The choir will be performing at the Chapel Theatre as part of its NSW tour on Saturday April 30, doors open at 6pm for 6.30 start.

Highlander

Highlander is one of the most popular and entertaining Celtic bands in Australia, and has an increasing worldwide fanbase thanks to internet radio. Highlander brings a new twist and rhythm to old-favourite Scottish pieces, with a couple of modern pieces thrown in. The line-up combines a unique blend of pipes, whistle, fiddle, guitars, drums and vocals with a dynamic stage presence.

Murphy’s Pigs

Murphy’s Pigs, as their bio states, is ‘a big band, a big sound and nearly an acre of suit fabric’.  With 11 members at last count, this award-winning, Celtic-rock posse should have you throwing caution to the wind and losing yourself on a musical adventure through the lands of the Celts that’s all things craggy mountains, turbulent oceans, wild battles, unrequited love and a bit of whisky. So get ready for spirited jigs, reels and hornpipes.

Ella Roberts

Ella is Australian born with Celtic roots and has traced her ancestry back to the Scottish Highlands and Islands and Ireland, therefore seemingly born with a huge passion for Celtic culture and song. At the 2019 Australian Celtic Music Awards, Ella won ‘Female Artist of the Year’, ‘Celtic Song of the Year’ for her original, ‘Elluria’s Lament’, and ‘Celtic Artist of the Year’.

Flashjack

Flashjack plays Celtic jigs, reels and songs on traditional instruments such as flute, piano-accordion, penny whistle, mandolin, guitar and more, not to mention the rarely heard lagerphone and spoons. They also sing and are seasoned veterans of many a bush dance and heritage event.

Asleep At The Reel

Asleep at the Reel evoke the sounds of a lively Irish pub: all flying fiddles and rich voices. Their songs are stories – some of them hundreds of years old – wrapped up in music. The band take this Celtic blend from its roots in the peat-smoked pubs of Ireland and Scotland all the way to the stage.

Kinsale

They have been working on new material that’s a combination of traditional pieces and originals that the band is dying to share with you. This is the full quartet of harp, hand drum, guitars and haunting Irish balladry feature in the band’s Celtic fare.

The Boatmen

Five folk rockers from Newcastle, NSW, who have stunned many punters at festivals and gigs throughout the nation. Get set to twirl away to all sorts of stringed things, including fiddle, plus a drummer that the band released from a cage fairly recently. Energy ahoy!

North & Elsewhere

North & Elsewhere perform indie-folk music with great flair stemming from their strong ancestral ties to the Scottish Highlands. Award-winning songwriters from the Sunshine Coast, sisters Hazel and Roanna Law have just released their debut EP, Finding Space. Their songs tell tales of anything from fights for social justice and their own battles with mental health issues to the simple joys of life.

Karen Law Trio

This family of musicians from the Sunshine Coast create a multi-generational show crammed with inspiring spirit. Mum Karen has been writing folk songs for more than 30 years and was awarded the Alistair Hulett Songwriting Trophy in 2020. Son has just finished a jazz guitar degree and is an intuitive accompanist and daughter Roanna plays bass. They embody all that is good about folk.

The Gathering

Fronted by award-winning Irish musician Mick McHugh. The group prides itself on getting audiences very much physically involved with its high-energy music, blended with an array of covers anything from late Swedish DJ Avicii and Mumford & Sonsto Creedence Clearwater Revival and Johnny Cash. The band has a unique stamp on Irish music, so be sure to bring your dancin’ shoes for this craicin’ band.

Limerick

A high-energy group that plays a lively mix of traditional Celtic and contemporary toe-tapping, beer-stomping, singalong songs. The group won for ‘New Celtic Talent of the year’ at the 2019 Australian Celtic Music Awards and features Tim Cody on guitar and vocals, Melinda Coles on fiddle and accordion, Belle Hendrik on bass and vocals, and Craig Tobin on drums and vocals. Be prepared to mosh in a Celtic manner.

Ukulele Scotsman

The Ukulele Scotsman is a unique performer who specialises in fun songs for all the family. With a large repertoire that includes a number of Scottish and Irish folk songs, he can design a set for most events. He is also a Scottish country dance instructor, so loves any opportunity to get the kilt on and share the fun.

Lissa-Käthe

Lissa-Käthe plays Celtic harp and composes and performs music that is both instantly familiar yet enchantingly new. The traditional songs and stories of the Celtic nations inspire her deeply and are her primary influence. Lissa-Käthe enhances the mellifluous melodies and rhythmic tunes of her 36-string concert lever harp with solo looping to create the sounds of an entire ensemble.

Lorna & Dave Warne

Be swept away by beautiful, haunting dirges & Gaelic ballads featuring angelic harp & vocals & intricately, interwoven, guitar melodies which immerse you in timeless traditions and transport you to another place, that stems from a deep connection to strong Celtic roots.

Owen Windred

Local banjo player Owen has been performing his Appalachian-infused music and poetry at venues throughout the New England area for several years and always goes down a storm. His unique chants and infectiously rhythmic style take audiences on a mesmerising ride through classic and original Celtic folk tunes.

Tartan Shamrock

Tartan Shamrock is a Brisbane band that combine traditional Irish and Scottish music to ensure a performance you won’t forget. An Irishman, a Scotsman, an Aussie and a Kiwi will take you on a journey of great music, poetry, storytelling and craic!

Tessa Hayward

Joining the Cantorion Sydney Male Voice Choir on Saturday at the Chapel Theatre Tessa is one of Australia’s promising young sopranos. The last two years Tessa has enjoyed being with The Pacific Opera.

Dancers

Tara

Launching at the Australian Celtic Festival, this ultra-modern Irish dance show stages untold stories of the ancient warrior women of Ireland. The creators of A Taste of Ireland bring an all-female performance that highlights the powerful talent of Celtic women through Irish dance and music. Modern taps meet contemporary choreography to encapsulate the strength of femininity in a spell-binding display. Pivoting from stereotypical male-lead dance productions, this show is designed to put the women of the vikings and their history in the spotlight. Power, grace, elegance, and style is exactly what you can expect.

Cape Byron Celtic Dance

This ensemble produces a fun, friendly vibe live and specialise in traditional Scottish and Irish dance, alongside some original choreography. Since 1992, Cape Byron Celtic Dance has participated in all areas of performance from Celtic festivals and formal events to teaming up with Celtic bands, producing successful competitive dancers locally and internationally.

Elevate Irish Dance Academy and Scotia Highland Dancers

A performance group featuring highly skilled jiggers and shakers, not to being something of a high watermark for all things Irish dancing education. Their show will be hugely colourful and energetic, and feature absolutely dazzling traditional costumes. Do feel free to toe-tap along.

Jacaranda Highland Dancers

The magic and mystical nature of centuries-old Celtic legends can be felt by any audience that witnesses this troupe. Jacaranda Highland Dancers are proud to be given the opportunity to perform at the Australian Celtic Festival with its specially choreographed dances that combine Scottish Highlands and Irish dancing with that of Manx, Breton and Welsh nations and more.

Sydney Irish Ceili Dancers

This long-running dance group has done an amazing job of helping to keep traditional Irish dancing alive in Australia. From graceful and elegant old-style step dancing with its beautiful intricate footwork they incorporate multiple styles of stepping. Their hugely entertaining performances take audiences on a whirlwind tour of Ireland.

Pipe & Instrumental Bands

Glen Innes Pipe Band

Glen Innes Pipe Band have been serving Glen Innes and other communities in the New England and north-west region of NSW for more than a century. The band has proudly worn the handsome Cameron of Erracht tartan since about 1952 and the band provides free tuition to anyone willing to blow a pipe or bang a drum. Proud to serve their community by enjoying doing something they love, this should be a cracker of a show.

Queensland Irish Association Pipe Band (QIAPB)

a social outfit of amateur pipers and drummers from a range of backgrounds and levels of experience. QIAPB wears ancient Urquhart tartan as part of our iconic QIAPB wears Ancient Urquhart tartan as its iconic and fetching green uniform. The current band has around 35 members and that would indicate that they will, literally, be quite a blast.

Moreton Celtic Fiddle Club

A group of energetic and talented Celtic musicians who are passionate about learning and playing Celtic and Bluegrass tunes. Known for being one of most entertaining groups in the Celtic Fiddle Group scene. There group ranges in age from the young and young at heart.

Grafton Pipe Band

The Grafton District Services Club Pipe Band was founded at a General Meeting called by Hugh Miller on the 12/12/1973. The band continues to strongly support and represent the local community at functions and festivals throughout the region

Emmanuel College Highlanders

The Emmanual College Highlanders at the University of Queensland is one of the premier performance and competition bands in Australia. The performers are an experienced group of pipers and drummers who are true global musicians. The band wears the Stewart of Appin tartan.

Poet

The Rhymer from Ryde – Graeme Johnson

This performance bush poet who was last hired for our festival in 2013 and is always good for a laugh. The Rhymer’s performances are full of the larrikin streak and his shows are renowned for their vibrancy, humour and heartfelt emotion. Audiences all around the country have enjoyed his easy going manner and theatrical style of delivery.

Live Experience

NEMAS (New England Medieval Arts Society)

NEMAS (New England Medieval Arts Society) present living history by portraying authentic Anglo-Saxon lifestyles of the 6th to 8th centuries, re enacting the culture of Mercian and Wessex in particular. Activities involve encampment displays, authentic food preparation, embroidery, field games, board games and much else, including historic clothing and weapon skills demonstrations and children’s activities.

Nova Hollandia

Nova Hollandia will be demonstrating a jousting tournament, featuring armoured knights on fiery steeds. Watch in awe as they thunder together with bone shuddering force, striving to break their lances and unhorse their opponent.

Highland Games & Strongman Competition

Join Highland Muscle for traditional highland heavy events for both men and women including putting the stone, caber toss and farmers walk. Are you up for this show of brute strength? There’ll be prizes up for grabs and everyone 18 years and over is welcome to participate.