The Beechworth Celtic Festival will showcase a tremendous array of talent from around the world. The unique cultures of many Celtic nations are celebrated on this weekend full of fun and entertainment.
Friday 9th November
On Friday night, the festival opens with the Gala Celtic Dinner. To be immersed in a traditional Highland evening will touch every drop of Celtic blood in your veins. This year, the Gala Celtic Dinner will be held in the historic Concert Hall at The Old Priory, Beechworth. The buildings were established as a convent & school in 1887 by 4 Irish Brigandine nuns. Intricate turn of the century architecture has been restored and preserved, yielding a fascinating venue with a well-spring of Beechworth history.
The Old Priory reception will open at 6:00pm, & with full bar facilities you are invited to get into the festive Celtic spirit with drinks available in the beautiful gardens. The entertainment will commence with the Haggis Ceremony at 6:30pm, featuring the traditional piping in, followed by Robert Burns Ode to the Haggis in broad Scottish brogue.
The Celtic feast will then commence at 7:00pm & will consist of three courses of hearty fare.
You will be entertained in true Celtic style throughout the evening, with a range of performances from pipers, musicians & Irish dancers, performing exclusively to those attending.
Seating is limited so we suggest you pre-book your tickets for this event. Tickets will be available via the link to the TRY BOOKING website from July 2018.
The Hotels will also feature music and meals on Friday night. Beechworth also has a range of other food venues open of the Friday night.
Saturday 10th November 2018
We are only proposing to close Williams Street this year to facilitate activities between the Beechworth Heritage Precinct and the Old Beechworth Gaol.
During Saturday, there will be a range of music and dancing in the Heritage Precinct, and Queen Victoria Park. It will be a celebration of our Celtic origins through music, play and dance, and will feature visiting performers as well as some of Beechworth’s own remarkable talents.
The Rotary Club Celtic Market and “Scots on the Rock” music at Queen Victoria Park will entertain from 9.00am - 3.30pm. The Market offers something for everyone with food, traditional crafts, jewellery and face painting. There will also be a variety of Celtic market stalls and food vendors at the entrance to the Old Beechworth Gaol.
Hotels and other venues will also feature activities during Saturday with an Art show also being planned.
Barry Versus Kelly
We are also planning to again hold the musical drama by Felix Meagher (with additional music by Lou Hesterman and Cyril Moran) is about the trial and execution of Ned Kelly in November 1880. Barry Versus Kelly focuses on the confrontation between Ned and the Judge, Sir Redmond Barry. Barry, whose harsh sentencing of Ned’s mother, Ellen, to three years goal in 1878 sparked the Kelly Outbreak, is haunted by Ned’s last words to him. “I will see you where I go.” Barry is fiercely determined to see Irish rebels like Ned Kelly punished, but he fears he might be making a martyr out of Ned. Declining in health and suffering delusions, Barry wrestles with his conscience and the fears that his family in Ireland sees him as a traitor. Meanwhile Ellen Kelly, on the day before the hanging, sings to Ned that he is the Loyal Son. Barry finally signs the papers that condemn Kelly and in a dying speech asks that his family be told that 'I took a rebel with me'.
This year we are proposing for the play to be held in the historic Beechworth Court House where Ned Kelly was originally arraigned.
Old Beechworth Goal Tattoo
7.00 - 8.30pm
A spectacular 90 minutes of majesty, music and dance in the traditions of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo presented in the exercise yard of the Old Beechworth Gaol and featuring 200 performers celebrating the legends, the traditions and the heroes of the north-east.
Join the massed pipes and drums comprising players from Scots School Albury, Albury-Wodonga, Wangaratta, Wagga Wagga, Watsonia and City of Melbourne bands will be joined by Highland and Irish dancers. Celtic folk groups Claymore and Saoirse, Wodonga Brass, our modern-day heroes from local fire brigades and remembering the Kelly legend in song for this festival special event. The Tattoo will feature a tribute to those who have served their country in war, conflict and peace on the 100th anniversary of the World War One Armistice and will pay tribute to those who have served their country in war, conflict and peace.
Note: Bookings Essential - Sold out in 2017.