St. Augustine Celtic Festival - Featuring the Top Celtic Rock and Traditional Musical Performers

The 6th Annual Saint Augustine Celtic Music and Heritage Festival is to be held at the city’s Francis Field on March 11th through March 13th.

The St. Augustine Celtic Festival takes place in the oldest City in the United States and the sounds of the ancient Celtic peoples of Scotland and Ireland come alive at Francis Field in the city’s historic district on Castillo Drive. Celtic clans from around the world show their ancestral pride alongside the popular Highland Games' athletes who demonstrate extreme skills of strength. At 10 a.m. on Saturday March 12th, the St. Patrick's Day Parade winds its way through the enchanted streets of the city's historic district. Vendors offer up Celtic cuisine and hand-made crafts and Scottish and Irish bands playing both traditional tunes and modernized renditions of the ancient Celtic music appear live on stage throughout the two-day festival. 

The 2016 entertainment line-up includes:

 Albannach: Albannach are electrifying performers with a combustible combination of Pipes and Drums who have become a dominant presence on the Celtic Festival entertainment circuit. Albannach's leader, Jamesie Johnston, views the band as Ambassadors of Celtic Culture and sees the growth of Celtic festivals in America as important in keeping the culture alive.  The band is based in Glasgow and all members were born in Scotland.  In a March 23, 2013 Transceltic article, "Albannach: Scottish-CelticCulture Warriors", Johnston in response to the question, “Do you consider Albannach to be ambassadors of Celtic culture", stated: “Yes – When people watch us perform they are experiencing Celtic culture and I see that as the takeaway from our performance, that the audience is experiencing Celtic culture when they attend our performance.”

Rathkeltair: Another familiar presence on the Festival circuit is Rathkeltair. Named after the historic site in County Down in Ireland near the birthplace of band member Nick Watson, Rathkeltair brings a wealth of experience and music making ability to this year’s Festival. Watson, the band’s drummer, previously played with the ward winning “Field  Marshall Montgomery Pipe Band”, and band member Trevor Tanner is the former front man for 80’s MTV era band “The Bolshoi”. Marcille Wallis of Celtic Heritage productions says of these energetic performers: “Rathkeltair's transcendent appeal is in their storytelling. Whether they're singing a "protest" song based on an actual historical event (Pound A Week Rise) or telling a boy-meets-girl tale that ends in tragedy (Vincent Black Lightning), Rathkeltair's listeners can identify the stories as being universally human. We all know that one person who thinks the world revolves around them (Pretty Too); we all remember that scary town character that our mothers told us to beware of (Durty Wullie).

 Seven Nations: Seven Nations is not your father's Celtic band. It's a band that will bring dance and fusion-rock to the main stage of the 6th Annual St. Augustine Celtic Music & Heritage Festival. The band is active on the Celtic Festival circuit and is noted for melding Celtic Rock guitar and vocals with Highland bagpipes and fiddle.  The band consider themselves lucky, according to lead singer and guitarist Kirk McLeod: “Because we come from two unique cultures. We love American pop and rock and roll, but we also love our Celtic roots. We want to touch everybody with our music.  We soon introduced bagpipes into the show, and over time the number of songs utilizing bagpipes grew until it became obvious that they were integral to our emerging sound,” McLeod continued, “ Most of the band members grew up playing Celtic music, and we’ve been performing original compositions since we began. Our instrumentation, and bagpipes and fiddle mostly, give us a distinctive sound and that’s what makes us different.”

Poor Angus: Poor Angus is a Hamilton, Ontario based award-winning, progressive Celtic band featuring Highland and Uilleann bagpipes, fiddle, acoustic guitar, Irish whistles, bodhran, mandolin, bass guitar and powerful four-part vocal harmony. Scottish, Irish and East Coast original and traditional pieces are arranged in a dynamic sampling of Celtic styles. Poor Angus has an accomplished, contemporary indie sound and finished Top 4 out of 3000 contestants in the 2013 CBC Searchlight competition. Formed in 2005, this collection of musicians performs their exciting and entertaining music in a manner which appeals to both traditional purists and modern audiences of all ages.

Scuttered the Bruce: This band plays good old-fashioned, hell-raising pub songs in the mode of the greatest pub singers in recent memory—The Dubliners and The Clancy Brothers—but with all the piss and vinegar of The Pogues. With unrelenting energy and reckless good cheer, Scuttered the Bruce is deadly serious about having a good time. And if their enthusiasm doesn’t infect you like some contagious form of drunkenness and get you snorting, stomping, and singing along, then you ought to check with your doctor to be sure you’re not dead. Scuttered the Bruce’s repertoire includes old favorites like “Black Velvet Band” and “Finnegan’s Wake” alongside gleefully debauched and punkish fare such as “Streams of Whiskey” and “If I Should Fall from Grace With God” and is topped off with an extra helping of bawdy originals like “Burning for Mary.”

 Dublin City Ramblers:  "Ireland's Number 1 Best Ballad and Folk Group of the Year."  They have performed at most Major Festivals worldwide, including headlining The Milwaukee Irish Festival, The Cleveland Irish Festival, Miami Irish Fest, and most U.S., Canadian & other festivals throughout the Globe!  Their music has also taken them all over Europe to rapturous receptions. They have performed at every major venue in Ireland and abroad, including Dublin’s National Stadium, National Concert Hall, Cork’s Opera House, England’s Royal Albert Hall, New York’s Carnegie Hall, and many more.

Festival hours are Friday, 7 - 9 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 general admission or VIP all-weekend tickets $55 each.  29 W. Castillo Dr., St. Augustine.  904-315-8061

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