Now in its 15th year, the Montelago Celtic Festival attracts over 20,000 exuberant, kilted Italians and Europeans for a totally unique weekend experience. Scheduled this year for 3rd-5th August on the alpine plains of Colfiorito straddling the border of Le Marche and Umbria, the programme includes 22 concerts featuring 14 groups from 7 countries, along with the third edition of the European Celtic Contest, which showcases Europe’s best up-and-coming musicians for the promise of performing at European Celtic festivals in 2018. Selections from the programme include Austria’s Celtica Pipes Rock, who will be filmed as they perform with the Ettore Bastianini Choral Union of Siena; Italian outfit The Sidh joined by the Innova Irish Dance Company from Londonderry, along with Italian & Scottish pipers of the BeinnLoch Pipe Band; and three “Made in Scotland” concerts – Treacherous Orchestra, Ross Ainslie and Ali Hutton, and Dosca – which grew out of a collaboration with Glasgow’s Celtic Connections Festival.
With numerous neighbouring municipalities devastated by the 2016 earthquakes in the central Apennines where the festival is held, Montelago has also launched Epicentro, a grand art and culture initiative to raise funds for displaced citizens and their scattered communities in order to help them through the winter of 2017-18.
The event also includes Celtic games such as tossing the caber and tug-o'-war, a 7-a-side rugby tournament, Celtic music & craft workshops, reenactment of a Celtic battle, and some 70 stalls in its popular and growing Celtic market. Set in the spectacular surrounds of the central Apennine mountains, it’s a happening festival of rare camaraderie that offers something very different for the young European music and nature lover.