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The National Celtic Festival has announced eight new acts to help will fill Portarlington’s foreshore with the sounds of fiddle and folk in June.
High-energy band Claymore returns to the festival with an eclectic mix of Scottish and Australian musicians and its own troupe of highland dancers.
The band has played all over the world, from the US, Scotland and France to right here on the Bellarine Peninsula.
Joining Claymore on the bill is Amber, a band featuring four up-and-coming musicians from Geelong and Melbourne.
The band’s young members Caitlin Martin, Indyana Kippin, and Matt and Sean Smith have added piano and vocals to a string quartet in their fresh take on folk.
Also on the line-up is award-winning Irish duo Dermot Blyne and Brid Harper.
Blyne won Irish TV station TG4’s musician of the year in 2013 while Harper is an Irish fiddle champion.
Scottish-Australian fiddler and teacher Catherine Fraser joins the festival after playing alongside some of the biggest names on the Celtic music scene.
Fraser will play alongside guitarist Trent Arkleysmith and cellist Rachel Johnston fresh off releasing her seventh studio album last year.
The globe-trotting Adelaide Scottish Fiddle Club brings South Australia’s passionate Celtic musicians to the festival.
The club has members aged eight to eighty who have performed in France, Scotland and the US.
Scottish-born songstress Fiona Ross brings her repertoire of songs from everyday life, love and work, along with the ‘muckle sangs’ – the big ballads
Ross has performed at traditional music festivals throughout Scotland, Russia, China and the US.
Telenn Tri brings the rhythms and melodies harp, piano accordion, Irish bouzouki, guitar and Scottish fiddle to give festival-goers a taste of traditional Celtic sound.
And finally, Senor Cabrales rounds up the line-up with a Spanish twist.
The band features six traditional musicians from northern Spain and Australia combining Spanish bagpipes, fiddle, flute, mandolin, bouzouki and bodhran in a sound unique to the festival.
The National Celtic Festival attracts more than 15,000 people each year, and this year features 14 stages with showcases, dance, theatre, literature readings, classes and more.
The festival’s folk market features fine food and fresh produce from a wide range of food trucks, local wines, craft brews and spirits from Victoria’s bespoke distilleries.
The market is adjacent to the festival and free to the public, so non-ticket holders can get amongst it too.
The latest round of artists join previously-announced acts Altan, Colin Lilli, Hat Fitz and Cara, Maggie Carty and Máirtín, Staunton, Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club, Paul McKenna Band, Rich Davies and The Low Road, Siobhan Owen, Tim Scanlan Trio, Trouble in the Kitchen and Zeon at the festival.

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