The festival runs from 1-4 May 2014, with some non-musical events scheduled on Wednesday 30 April. The kick-off music event is the "Ceud Mile Failte 100,000 Welcomes Concert" at 6pm on 1 May. Performers include Sophie & Fiachra, Mick McHugh, Jacaranda Ceilidh and the Glen Innes Pipe Band.
If that doesn't tickle your fancy, you could attend the Cornish Meal with Cornish Entertainment, which is on at the same time.
Over the course of the four days from 1-4 May, there is a wide range of authentic Celtic activities, including music and dance, storytelling and poetry, various workshops, clan gatherings, traditional kirking of the tartans, Celtic yard dog trials, a fun run, Celtic stalls, and of course lots of Celtic food. There's a big Celtic dinner on 1 May at the Glen Innes Showgrounds, with entertainment by Jacaranda Ceilidh. Or, for serious foodies, there's a haggis ceremony on the same night.
Spirit of the Glen
The last day, Saturday 4 May, features a strongman event and a massed bands event...not to be missed! There is plenty of music on offer, with performers including Claymore, The Likely Celts, Murphy's Pigs, Saoirse, Highlander, Zeptepi, Welders Dogs, the not-very-Celtic sounding Senor Cabrales, Raggeder Band, Mick McHugh & Spirit of the Glen. A full list is on the website.
Tickets First, the good news - all school-aged children get FREE weekend and day passes to the festival; you do have to pay separately for some of the special events though. Adult ticket prices are very reasonable, with the most expensive ticket being the adult weekend pass at $55.
Then, the less good but not really bad news - if you cancel your ticket before 17 April, you'll lose half the ticket price. If you cancel after 17 April, you'll lose the whole thing. BUT they will consider requests for refunds, so if something serious happens that means you just can't get there, you might be in with a chance. Check the website for details on how to request a refund.
The website also has a helpful and amusing section on Celtic trivia, including the vexed issue of how exactly IS 'Celtic' pronounced? You'll have to click through to find out...
The full program is available on the website. Several events are held at the Australian Standing Stones, something I never knew existed; a Stonehenge-like group of, well, standing stones that was officially opened in 1992 to honour all Celtic people who helped found Australia.
The Australian Standing Stones in Glen Innes
Apparently accommodation can be pretty hard to come by during the festival, so it's probably a good idea to start looking and booking now if you're interested in going. Glen Innes is a little town, so you might find it hard to get hotel/motel type accommodation if you wait too long. However, if you're open to other options, you might be interested in staying with a local ("home hosting") or camping at the Showgrounds at a powered site. The website has some helpful information about finding accommodation.