Annual Celtic Music Festivals & Events

in northern California

  Updated: August 4, 2004
early March

San Francisco Irish Arts & Music Festival sponsored by the Irish Arts Organization. The festival has not been held the last several years, but may be revived in a different format. This was a two day/evening festival used to be held at a large hall at Fort Mason in San Francisco. It featured crowds of several thousand, and acts that have included Sharon Shannon, Lunasa, Mary Jane Lamond, Dervish, Altan, Tommy Peoples, The Lahawns.

mid June

The Annual Campbell Highland Games in Campbell at the Campbell Community Center, corner of Campbell Ave. & Winchester for one day from 9am to 5pm.For information call (408) 219-9264 or (408) 578-0929, e-mail or

mid June

Annual Ardenwood Celtic Festival. The festival takes place between 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM at the Ardenwood Historic Farm, 34600 Ardenwood Blvd in Fremont, just north of the route 84 Ardenwood exit. For information regarding tickets, phone 510-796-0663. See for information from East Bay Regional Parks on this event.

late June
(two days)

Celtic Nations Festival  in Vacaville at Andrews Park. This festival features: craft vendors, beer garden, clan/society, children’s area, fantastic food, and great music. Contact information: Alex Hall at Vacaville Chamber of Commerce, address 300 Main Street, Suite A, Vacaville CA. 95688---email

early August

The Lark in the Morning World Music & Dance Camp in Mendocino. Workshops led by over 90 instructors and sessions 24 hours a day in a great variety of folk music including Irish, Scottish, Breton, Galician, American, Cajun, Balkan, Swedish, etc… For further info call (707) 964-4826 or e-mail 

early August

Monterey Scottish Games & Celtic Festival. This is one of the smaller festivals. In 2001 it featured The Prince Charles Pipe Band and the Los Angeles Scots Pipe Band. Entertainment: John Taylor, Ed Miller & Molly's Revenge.

early September

Pleasonton Scottish Games For more info call: 800-713-3160

late September Annual KMVR Celtic Festival and Marketplace at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley. This is a 1 1/2 day festival in the Sierra Nevada foothills northeast of Sacramento. It features three stages. Recent performers at the festival have included Natalie MacMaster and SOLAS. Other festival highlights include workshops, a Celtic games exhibition, historical re-enactments, an exotic marketplace, and a children's area.
3rd or 4th weekend in September Annual Sebastopol Celtic Faire - This has got to be one of the best Celtic festivals in the world. Sebastopol is located about 1 hour north of San Francisco. It recently has consisted of a Friday evening concert, Saturday concerts and games at 3 stages, a Saturday night concert, and concerts and games Sunday. Performers frequently seen there include Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill, Alasdair Fraser, Kevin Burke, Beginish, Craobh Rua, Tannahill Weavers, Mary Jane Lamond.
early October

The Loch Lomond Highland Games with SAAA Athletics Highland Dancing Solo Bagpipe Competiton Clan and Society Tents Living History Celtic Music & Entertainment in Ben Lomond at Highlands Park. For more information, e-mail or call (831) 457-6716.  

mid- October

Celtic Colours Festival in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. (Don't ask why. Don't ask who's going to be there. All the cool people, including yours truly, wouldn't miss this for anything.)

late October The Community Music School of Santa Cruz and the Folk Arts Foundation of the Santa Cruz Mountains presents the annual Santa Cruz Feis, a weekend celebrating Scottish Gaelic language and culture in Capitola

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