The Melbourne Celtic Festival

Melbourne Celtic Festival (MCF) returns in 2023 to harness Melbourne’s love affair with Celtic music and culture from 12.00pm to 11.00pm on St Patrick’s Day, with 100% of ticket sales going to important mental health initiatives and support through Australian Rotary Health and the Australian Rotary Foundation. Special international guest artist, Scottish guitarist Tony McManus will give two intimate performances in Melbourne’s iconic Mission to Seafarers Complex in the heart of the city. 

Called “The best Celtic guitarist in the world.” by UK guitarist John Renbourn and ranked by peers and predecessors alike alongside the guitar world’s all-time greats, his fiendishly dexterous, dazzlingly original playing draws on traditions from the entire Celtic diaspora – Scotland, Ireland, Brittany, Galicia, Asturias, Cape Breton, Quebec – along with still further-ranging flavours, such as jazz and eastern European music.

All things Celtic

International guest artist Tony McManus.

Festival Founder, Artistic Director and Celtic Musician, Sue Foley, said:  “I recognised a need for a more inclusive alternative to the ‘pub scene’ in Melbourne on St Patrick’s Day.”  She has a long-time passion, nay obsession, for all things Celtic. Having sat on charitable boards including being Chair of Linden Gallery, her current positions include Secretary Murrumbeena Bowls Club, Chair Murrumbeena Village Traders Association, Board of the Animal Re-homing Service and Chair of Fundraising for Rotary District 9800. “St Paddy’s Day is an unofficial public holiday so why not come for the whole day? Bring the kids after school or head straight from work for the evening session.”

The line-up also features winners at the 2022 Australian Folk Music Awards, AUSTRAL, a high-energy, four-piece Australian tunes band combining didgeridoo, Irish pipes, high energy fiddling, journeying songs and energetic foot percussion. Austral will be sure to get MCF going. The festival is also proud to present a host of female performers including Wendy Stapleton’s Australian Women’s Choir, Emma-Kate Tobia, Maria Forde, Claire Patti, Kathryn Clements, Cora Browne, Tracey Roberts, and local favourite female trio Bhan Tre.

Representing Wales are the Victoria Welsh Choir and Platform 9 ¾ alongside acapella group Thursday’s Child, Play it Martha, Comhaltas Melbourne, and Scottish pipers. The Melbourne Celtic Festival is generously supported by Community Bank Murrumbeena, The Mission to Seafarers, FreshPict Creative, Rotary D9800, Oliver-Ramsay Security, Dimattina Coffee, Nachos Cantina Aspendale and a groundswell of community contributions.

The Melbourne Celtic Festival takes place at the Mission to Seafarers, 717 Flinders St, Melbourne on Friday, 17 March, 2023. For more information see: or to book tickets visit:

Main photo: The Celtic energy of AUSTRAL.

1 thought on “The Melbourne Celtic Festival”

  1. Thats a great article. Thanks so much for the support and all the best with the publication. Sue Foley.

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