Kate Burke and Luke Plumb share a love for 1970s Irish folk revival music, having obsessively absorbed the music of the era – in particular Planxty’s revolutionary treatments of traditional songs. Kate & Luke now bring their formidable instrumental skills, strong vocals and creative minds to making groove-based, complex interpretations of traditional song in performance and available on their self-titled debut album.

Fiona delighted audiences at the Gala dinner in 2019 and helps us begin our live streaming concert series for 2020! Scots Trad Music Awards 2019 Scots Singer of the Year nominee. Patron of Robert Burns Club of Melbourne. Fiona’s vocal renditions and story telling are exquisite.

Sharing sweet songs and funky folk tunes in their small Melbourne share house, Caity, Jordy, Rhiannon and Josh make up The Cornerhouse Band. Previously three quarters of the multi-award-winning band, The Drowsy Maggies, they have been captivating audiences around the country for the past few years. Playing their original harmony-filled songs and creatively arranged tune sets with a side of grooving bass lines and irresistible beats, The Cornerhouse Band are not to be missed.

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. 

Peter Daffy is a superb entertainer an accomplished musician and  leader of various bands & local community groups; from folk to honky tonk, original and swing. Pete inspires us all with his ability to create opportunities for musicians of all ages, keeping music vivid and alive in our community and district… bringing the world to South West Victoria through his musical collaborations, festival commitments and concerts.  He also builds amazing guitars and mandolins!

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!

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.

Dancing Secretary for the Victorian Scottish Union, Highland Dancer, Cape Breton dance enthusiast, flute player and aspiring tradition bearer. Ceilidh invites us to have a go and Cape Breton Dance and also talks us through the Highland Dance Costume. You will also find her “Address tae the Haggis” – fantastic!

Loads of Highland Flings! Bernadette Rae – head of Glenbrae Celtic Dance Inc. a celtic dance community affiliated with The Victorian Scottish Union, has kindy shared dance excerpts to help get our toes itching to dance. Look out for the link to The Clansman Sword Dance. There’s also a Scottish Lilt and Miss Forbes to enjoy.

Warrnambool Pipe Band, led by Pipe Major Donald Blair OAM, invite you to virtually meet some of their players as they share tunes from their respective homes. 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.

Andrew O’Flynn is our resident performance poet who has a large collection of Burns poems that delight audiences every year. Howlin’ Wind is an virtuoso flute player, performer and studio engineer, the master of many musical genres with over 50 albums recorded. Howlin’ often performs at the festival with Peter Daffy. Howlin’ and Andy O’Flynn  are great mates and got together to do a shout out for the virtual festival, taking the opportunity to improvise something old but new.

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. And very special thanks to Tuniversal Music Group Inc. who auspice the event, and are - along with the hard working volunteer festival committee, the very heart of the festival.