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“A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN” and “THE BEST TRADITIONAL IRISH BAND” – Dolly Parton on her collaboration with Altan on two of her albums Heartsongs and Little Sparrow.

The spirit and sound of Altan come from the deep and rich musical tradition of their native Co. Donegal. On one of his many visits to the Donegal Gaeltacht of Gaoth Dobhair, Belfast born flute player Frankie Kennedy met fiddler and singer Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, sparking off a deep musical connection, marriage in 1981, and a journey that took them all over the world. Their vision was to bring the unique repertoire of Donegal music to the world and that mission is still as strong as ever.



Austin's number one Irish dance team will perform at the Austin Celtic Fest and it's a guaranteed joy to watch. Inishfree Austin is under the direction of former Lord of the Dance and Feet of Flames Lead Dancer, Patrick McCarthy, Championship Dancer, Pierce Beach, and World champion Neill Reagan. Kathleen McCarthy is our guest teacher and is also a former Lord of the Dance Lead Dancer. 


The Here and Now, based out of Austin, Tx, is an exciting band made up of Chris Buckley (fiddle), Niamh Fahy (fiddle), Rob Forkner (Bodhrán) and Joseph Carmichael (guitar). All accomplished musicians in their own right, together they create a rich and captivating sound full of energy that presents Irish traditional music in a contemporary context. Drawing from each of their backgrounds in Irish music, with geography that spans the United States and Ireland, they keep tradition at the heart of their music

Silver Thistle Pipes and Drums

For the past 40 years Silver Thistle has been a competitive bagpipe band and 501c3 non-profit organization, serving the greater Austin area by performing and teaching a mix of modern and traditional music. 

Scottish Country Dance Alliance

The SCDA hosts an all-ages Scottish Country Dance workshop at the Austin Celtic Festival and also operates a popular bakery of Celtic goodies.  Look on the schedule for time and place of their workshop and the location of their bake sale!


Kieron Elliott is a Scottish actor, TV host, and voice-over actor. Works include voicing Hoark the Haggard in the Dreamworks’ animated blockbusters How to Train Your Dragon and How to Train Your Dragon 2 , an appearance in the eighth episode of Deadliest Warrior and as a host of the show's "Aftermath", a recurring role on the BBC drama River City,[1] serving as a BBC Three continuity announcer, as co-host of the UK karaoke style panel game show Night Fever, helping launch the UK’s first Classic Rock station on FM in 2007 96.3 Rock Radio and hosting the breakfast show for a year, as a presenter on the Real Radio radio station. He works regularly with Blizzard Entertainment voicing King Magni Bronzebeard in World of Warcraft and Hearthstone.

Gregory Grene

Austin's favorite NYC band leader is returning with a special acoustic performance with accordion led madness and rousing songs.

Gregory combines original lyrics and melody with a genuine passion for the traditional music of Ireland and a funky energy that is pure New York. The roots of the music are unmistakably traditional Irish; the branches that shoot off delve into rock, worldbeat, jazz and punk, and the result has been called “the best Irish trad-rock band.” 


Máirtín de Cógáin is a singing, dancing, story-telling bodhrán player who also is a noted playwright and actor. He performs in his native Ireland and all over the U.S…. and between and beyond, too! An infectious personality, Máirtín pleasantly commands the attention of any collection of people, from a concert hall to an intimate porch.

Descended from a long line of storytellers and with two CCÉ All-Ireland’s for Storytelling under his belt, Máirtín gets no more joy out of life than the telling of stories.