The 2023 Australian Celtic Festival

The Australian Celtic Festival hit a record number of visitors in May with over 6,000 purchasing tickets and up to 7,500 adults and children attending various events held throughout Glen Innes, in the NSW New England region.

The Year of Scotland has traditionally been one of the most popular highlighted nations bringing in the crowds but this year has gone beyond Glen Innes Severn Council’s expectations. With all accommodation vacancies filled well before the event, many regional locals took advantage of heading out for the day, catching as much entertainment and atmosphere as they could. Glen Innes could not have had a better backdrop to the festivities then the National Celtic monument which became the focal point, full of sound, colour and excitement.

A standout event

Many of the visitors came to see the Street Parade, Jousters, Highland Games and an array of local, interstate and overseas artists including the Festival’s Honoured Guest international traditional fiddle player Paul Anderson, Scotland’s Kilted Yogi Finlay Wilson and from New Zealand, crowd pullers Clan Celtica who stirred the audiences with their processional pipes and drums. The Pipe Band competition was also very popular as well as the atmosphere of the clans. This festival is very important for the visitor economy, bringing in over 1.8 million dollars into businesses in the lead up, during and after the festivities.

Jousting display.

Next year is celebrating the Year of Ireland and the Isle of Man and it is already gearing up to be another record breaker. Council would like to thank all the businesses who sponsored or supported the event as well as Council staff and volunteers for their contribution in making this year’s Australian Celtic festival a standout event in the region.

Finlay Wilson.

2-5 May 2024 are the dates for the next Australian Celtic Festival in Glen Innes Highlands, celebrating the Year of Ireland & The Isle of Man. For details: 02 6730 2400 or

All images courtesy of Jim Barker, Twelve Points Photography and the Australian Celtic Festival.

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