Laura Flanagan is an outstanding fiddler playing Irish traditional music from Lubbock, Texas. Over the last 15+ years, she has traveled widely in the United States and Ireland to study with fiddlers Randal Bays, John Carty, James Kelly, Martin Hayes, and Brendan Larrissey.

She has performed and taught at several music camps including ZoukFest, The Cascadia Irish Music Week, O’Flaherty Irish Music Retreat, and the West Texas Chamber Music Strings Camp. She has performed with American Irish bouzouki master and scholar Roger Landes, and Austin, Texas based Irish flute player, Jonathan Milton. Most recently she’s recorded her first solo fiddle album, The Great Southern Ocean, with Australian master musicians Luke Plumb (bouzouki) and Peter Daffy (guitar). *image by Kimberley Gonzales.

Vocalist, harpist, choral conductor. A multi-instrumentalist and honours graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, Claire is a performer, conductor, teacher and composer.

While studying, she sang in Queensland-based vocal ensemble The Australian Voices (while under the direction of Stephen Leek). After graduating from the VCA majoring in horn, Claire pursued singing and playing the harp and developing her own sound in her arrangements and compositions.

Her passion for singing and playing is closely followed by conducting choirs and ensembles, with a particular penchant for anything a cappella.

Glasgow-born singer Fiona Ross has secured her reputation as a highly gifted interpreter of Scots song. In 2019 she was shortlisted for Scots Singer of the Year in the prestigious Scots Trad Music Awards. In Scotland and in her adopted home of Australia, Fiona is recognised as a tradition-bearer for Scots song. Her honest, earthy & evocative singing style and extensive repertoire showcase the richness & diversity of the tradition. ARIA Award winning guitarist & producer Shane O’Mara is one of Australia’s most versatile musicians. He has collaborated with a host of luminaries including Paul Kelly and Chris Wilson. As a duo, these two highly accomplished artists present a captivating Scottish set that is both steeped in tradition and imbued with contemporary flair. Their highly acclaimed recent release, Sunwise Turn, won Best Folk Album in Music Victoria’s 2020 Awards.  

Austral are a high-energy, four-piece Australian Celtic group featuring Angus Barbary on fiddle, vocals and bouzouki, Caity Brennan on fiddle and guitar, Rhys Crimmin on guitar, percussion, didgeridoo and vocals, and Connor Hoy on Uilleann pipes, flute and whistle. All four members have played at festivals all over Australia in different projects and have come together to form an Australian/Celtic supergroup. With influences from bands such as The East Pointers, Trouble in the Kitchen and We Banjo Three, Austral have had overwhelming love and support at Australian festivals and whilst busking on the streets of Melbourne. They have developed their own high-energy sound that has audiences up and dancing. Austral are carving a new face for Celtic music in Australia and are a band not to be missed!

Sharing sweet songs and funky-folk tunes in their small Northcote share house, Caity, Jordy and Rhiannon are The Cornerhouse Band. Now playing alongside the band’s newest member – the legendary drummer (and big brother) Josh Hickey, The Cornerhouse Band provide a genre-defying sound that has a little bit of something for everybody.

A high-energy collective with musical influences as diverse as its membership, the Melbourne Scottish Fiddlers play everything from raucous reels to soaring airs. Featuring music from Scotland, Canada and Scandinavia (among others), the embrace the fun of fiddling, culminating in their most recent album, Sea to Sky. The group has kindly shared footage for the virtual festival. The Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Club are perennial crowd favourites. 

Singer, composer, musician, luthier. Pete lives & breathes music. Tangible, skilled live performance. He is a seasoned folk, bluegrass and rockabilly performer, and performs alongside our headline acts and with his own band. Pete also runs “Tuniversal” a local community music group with a world music focus, creating opportunities for, and nurturing, new talent in our community.  Both Pete and Luke Plumb feature on Laura Flanagan’s first solo fiddle album.

A superb instrumentalist Merran’s gentle lyrical style and knowledge of the genre make for a real treat. Merran performs with low whistles, smallpipes, accordion and harp as a soloist, in sessions and with many ensembles.

Featuring the poetry and songs of Robert Burns… Angela & Don go together like chilli & chocolate… whisky & haggis! Rich vocal harmonies, guitar, flute, whistle, bodhran, fiddle and harp help to tell the story.

Warrnambool Pipe Band, led by Pipe Major Donald Blair OAM. This group does so much to encourage players of all ages and are seasoned world travellers, entering band, pipe and drum competitions and festivals far and wide. Wadpadi bring a taste of The Edinburgh Tattoo to the festival with their rousing, spine tingling sounds.

Another amazing community group led by Jane McSween. With a vast repertoire from traditional to concert band and swing, to rock’n’roll and cabaret… many budding instrumentalists are nurtured and get the valuable opportunity to experience ensemble performance. The band often plays for local theatre co. productions, as well as putting on their own shows. Jane is also a very talented pianist and singer, often performing as a soloist and with Peter Daffy & Becky McCann. 

An incredible asset to the local community Tuniversal meets weekly to learn tunes from around the world, from traditional folk to rock’n’roll. Their repertoire is vast and much learning and fun is had along the way. Led by Peter Daffy the group learns many of the tunes by ear, with each member introducing tunes. Many of the musicians take the opportunity to develop skills on different instruments and everyone shares what they know, a great way to learn, share knowledge and be inspired.

We'd like to thank all of our musicians, poets and volunteer committee for their contributions to the virtual festival in 2020 & 2021. A very special thank you to Tuniversal Music Group Inc. who auspice the event, and who are - along with the hard working volunteer festival committee, the very heart of the festival.