Celtica 2008: Traditional music, dance and dining combine at Port Adelaide

17 12 2008


Port Adelaide Celtica Festival

Launched in 2005, Port Adelaide’s “Celtica Festival” has grown every year, from humble beginnings as a three-hour free concert and art exhibition at the Port Adelaide Visitor Information Centre (on Commercial Road), to a three day event, on the first weekend in December, centred on Hart’s Mill Waterfront and the adjoining Port Adelaide TAFE college. Entry remains free, and each year tens of thousands of people experience this amazing cultural milleiu overlooking the Port River.


Thematically, the festival is a celebration of all things “Celtic,” being the ethnicity of far-Western Europe, the lands associated with the Ancient Celts and celebrated by those who claim modern Celtic roots: Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, the Isle of Mann, Britany, Galicia, and the millions of people around the world descended from the immigrants from these regions, who took their distinctive cultural suite as far afield as Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand.


The 2008 event featured over twenty different performances by musicians and dancers from local, interstate and international environments, a two-day free concert featuring the best of traditional and modern-interpretaion (folk-rock) Celtic music. Acts included Sycamore Road, Akoustic Oddysey, Red Cat, Eilean Mor, Senor Cabrales, Spiral Dance and Claymore. Dancers included An Ghillie Mor (highland sword dancers) and the Border Celts (morris team). Where else in the world but Australia might you find the Irish bodhran and Scottish bagpipes played together with the Aboriginal dijeridoo? The result is truly amazing.



Along with the music at the central stage there were music and dance workshops in the TAFE college and nearby hall, and the waterfront itself was home to the “Art at the Hart” artists’ marketplace, featuring arts and crafts from local producers. The events have been run together for the last three years.



Several Port hotels also provided live music venues over the event weekend, expanding the scope once again. The Festival has grown amazingly and shows every sign of becoming one of Adelaide’s, and Australia’s, most important musical and cultural events.



Picture credits: All photos this post by Mike Adamson.

For further information regarding Celtica:
contact Suzanne Laslett care of the Port Adelaide Visitor Information Centre, 66 Commercial Rd., Port Adelaide, SA. Ph: (08) 8405 6560