Celtic musicians from around the globe descend on central Italy to mark 14 years of harmonious celebration in Colfiorito’s spectacular Apennine surrounds
PR-Inside.com: 2016-05-18 10:04:01
The 2016 Montelago Celtic Festival takes place this year on the alpine plains of Colfiorito in central Italy from 4th-6th August, continuing its growing tradition as the leading festival of its kind in Italy. This year’s fourteenth edition features the world’s leading bagpiper Davy Spillane (of legendary Irish group Moving Hearts), Kila from Dublin, and Canadian Celtic-punk group The Real McKenzies among a lineup of 17 bands from seven countries around the world. In addition to the music programme of 22 concerts over the festival’s three days, 2015’s inaugural European Celtic Contest also continues, with Europe’s best up-and-coming musicians once again competing on opening night for the promise of performing at European Celtic festivals in 2017. Last year’s winners Alban Fùam and Emian PaganFolk both feature on this year’s Montelago programme.
“The appearance of Davy Spillane makes this quite a landmark year,” said artistic directors and chief organizers Maurizio Serafini and Luciano Monceri. “For years we’ve been striving to attract the best there is in the Celtic world, while also keeping things diverse and open, and in this sense for 2016 we feel we’ve expanded on previous years. Along with Davy Spillane, bands like Kila, the Real McKenzies, Albaluna and Plantec will bring their own genres and interpretations from Ireland, Canada, Portugal and France to add to Italy’s growing range of talent, and we were also sure to include up-and-coming artists such as Alban Fùam and Emian PaganFolk to give their own voice and to savour the experience surrounded by these veteran virtuosi. As always, while the music is a centerpiece, the festival is also a channel for our Montelago community, an escape from the restrictions, congestion and industrialization of everyday life, a place where followers and fans can express themselves freely in this harmonious Apennine environment guided simply by the rules of nature and humanity.”
This year’s concert schedule kicks off at 21:15 on Thursday 4th in the Mortimer Pub with Ulaid from Northern Ireland, followed by the second edition of the European Celtic Contest. Friday's programme picks up again at 15:45 on Friday, running through to the early hours of Saturday morning, and on Saturday there's music on tap continuously from 11:30 until sunrise on Sunday. In addition to bands from foreign shores, Italy's representation is headed by Folkstone, local crowd favourite Mortimer McGrave, and the Montelago Celtic Orchestra, specially assembled to accompany Davy Spillane.
Launched in 2003, the festival takes place on the Colfiorito plains among the Apennine mountains on the border of the Italian regions of Marche and Umbria. Over the years it has developed into Italy’s largest Celtic festival, and today attracts over 20,000 enthusiasts as part of the growing Montelago community. The event enjoys the patronage of the Irish Embassy in Italy, and has attracted the attention of Italy’s Ministry of Youth and the BBC thanks to its unique and diverse mix of high-quality cultural and social events, including:
- Celtic wedding ceremonies for couples wishing to bind their relationship through sacred Druidic rites,
- Celtic games such as tug o’ war and tossing the caber,
- traditional Celtic craft, music and dance workshops,
- 7-a-side rugby tournament sanctioned by the Italian Rugby Federation,
- fantasy literature presentations in the Tolkien Tent,
- a Celtic village recreation, and
- a Celtic market with 70 stalls from all over Italy and Europe offering crafts, clothing, and curiosities.
On site are expansive camping areas including cordoned-off areas for families with children – along with a baby park offering child care and fun activities – and bikers, who for the first time will be able to bring their motorcycles into the festival for convenient parking next to their tents. There is also a wide array of local food and beverage stands – including select international and craft beers, cider, and mead – a large illuminated parking area, field hospital, chemical toilets, free wifi, phone-charging totems, and a refreshing point offering sprays of cool water in the August heat.
The festival is also eco-friendly, working in partnership with the Environmental League of Italy and COSMARI (a local waste disposal consortium) to ensure the Colfiorito mountain plain’s clean, natural state is preserved.
ViaggiPerConcerti runs scheduled bus services from Italy’s major cities direct to the festival, and a shuttle service runs at regular intervals from Foligno station in Umbria to the festival. Entrance for the weekend costs 30 euro on Thursday and Friday 4th, 5th August, and 20 euro on Saturday 6th.
The festival is organized by Arte Nomade (www.artenomade.com).