The National Celtic Folk Festival is a premier event that provides an authentic expression of Celtic and Folk culture across the Arts – music, song, dance, theatre, storytelling. The festival encompasses both traditional and contemporary interpretations within the Australian Folk setting and supports the sustainability of the culture in a contemporary context.

The festival takes in the foreshore area and venues across the township of Portarlington with the picturesque surroundings of the Bellarine Peninsula.

The festival offers a diverse and immersive experience for attendees. It features live music, visual arts, film, song, dance, literature, and food. There are performances, concerts, workshops, masterclasses, competitions, forums, demonstrations, visual arts projects, themed events, and more.


Dates: The festival is held over the June long weekend, (from 7–10 June 2024).

When the drums beat the festival is underway! Image credit with thanks Suzanne Balding

In terms of artists, the festival has seen a variety of performers over the years. Some of the Australian artists who have appeared at past events include:

The Maggie Carty Band, Trouble In The Kitchen, Hats Fitz & Cara, Pete Denahy, Rich Davies, The New Graces, Fiona Ross & Shane O’Mara, The Bushwackers, Melbourne Scottish Fiddlers, Charm of Finches.

In addition, the festival has also featured international artists such as Daoirí Farrell from Ireland, and Sorcha Costello, Conor Connolly and Pádraig Ó Dubhghaill, also from Ireland.

Tickets: Tickets for the National Celtic Folk Festival can be purchased online. The ticket prices include a booking fee and a 2.5% processing fee. There are also camping and glamping packages available.

National Celtic Folk Festival WebsiteNational Celtic Folk Festival Facebook

Check out more Folk Festivals around the country

About Portarlington

Portarlington with the picturesque surroundings of the Bellarine Peninsula.

Portarlington is a charming seaside town located on the north-eastern corner of the Bellarine Peninsula, 31 kilometres from the city of Geelong. Here’s what you can expect when visiting:

Beaches and Foreshore: Portarlington offers sheltered swimming beaches and an attractive foreshore featuring a pier, BBQ and picnic areas, and a large camping area. The town’s main commercial centre is on Newcombe Street and is dominated by the landmark Grand Hotel which was built in 1886.

Point Lonsdale-Lighthouse. Image credit local photographer Mark Gray who offers tuition if you are in the region

Attractions: The town is home to the old steam-powered Portarlington Mill, which was built in 1857 out of sandstone, and now houses artefacts relating to the history of the region. Located within the Rotary Childrens Park at Point Richards is a miniature railway which operates at various times throughout the year.

Scenic Drive: A scenic tourist drive is along The Esplanade, a coastal route of around 10 kilometres in length that runs alongside the foreshore between Portarlington and the neighbouring beach towns of Indented Head and St Leonards.

The Bellarine Peninsula is a picturesque region with rolling hills where grapes and olives are grown. It offers a variety of attractions including a sailing club, an 18-hole golf course, excellent fishing opportunities, boat ramps, and a bicycle track that leads around the foreshore to Indented Head.