ASHEVILLE NC – The WNC Highlands Celtic Festival returns to Black Mountain for its third year, bringing its biggest lineup yet of the hottest bands on the Celtic festival circuit. Headlining the event are the powerful and tribal Scottish band Albannach, along with international Celtic supergroup Rathkeltair. Rounding out the entertainment lineup are Marcille Wallis & Friends, the Thistledown Tinkers, Uncle Hamish and the Hooligans, My Three Kilts, Pipapelli, the Montreat Scottish Pipes & Drums, and the Moynihan School of Irish Dance. Scheduled for Father’s Day Weekend 2012 (Friday, June 15 and Saturday, June 16), WNC Highlands Celtic Festival turns Pisgah Brewing Company into a Celtic feast for the senses, with samplings of Celtic culture including athletics and dance, authentic foods and crafts. Drawing fans from all across the country to Black Mountain, the family-friendly WNC Highlands Celtic Festival has furthered Western Carolina’s reputation as a Father’s Day weekend destination and the Festival itself as a new holiday tradition.
“Festival-goers will be treated to an eclectic mix of traditional Celtic music, its offshoots such as bluegrass, and fusions of the ancient Celtic sounds with modern styles such as rock and blues,” said a spokesperson from Celtic Heritage, producers/directors of the Festival. “Western Carolina, and Black Mountain in particular, were once the destination of many Scottish and Irish immigrants seeking to make a life in the New World. They brought their customs and their music with them, and that’s the root of the unique vibe in this area. It seemed only natural to bring their descendants back ‘home’ to participate in a festival, almost a family reunion, celebrating those immigrants and their contributions.”
Rathkeltair is one of North America’s premier Celtic rock bands, featuring a powerful quartet of musicians from Ireland, England and America. Their cross-generational appeal lies in their ability to take listeners on a musical journey through time and space, weaving traditional bagpipe tunes together with tunes from Steely Dan or The Beatles. They are story-tellers as well, delivering compelling original vocals that are exciting, audience-friendly, and great fun.
“Marcille Wallis & Friends” has as its nucleus touring and recording artist Marcille Wallis, one of the nation’s top hammer dulcimer players. Wallis’s group also includes award-winning Scottish dancers, a vocalist/multi-instrumentalist, and fiery Celtic/bluegrass fiddler Matt Miller, winner of numerous fiddle championships. The Thistledown Tinkers is a duo of seasoned music veterans from North Carolina, who play not the fragile, romanticized Celtic music heard in movie soundtracks but music that makes listeners sing along and stomp their feet. Uncle Hamish and the Hooligans, My Three Kilts, and Pipapelli are fixtures not only on the Celtic festival/Highland games circuit, but in Celtic pubs across the southeastern US.
The Montreat Scottish Pipes and Drums band has entertained thousands during its 30+ years of existence. Based out of the Asheville area, the band includes members from Avery, Buncombe, Henderson, Transylvania, and Jackson Counties in North Carolina. The Moynihan School of Irish Dance is fronted by lead dancer and choreographer Gillian Moynihan, also of the Asheville area.
Advance tickets are $20, and cover all festival activites both days. They can be ordered from www.celticheritageproductions.com/wnc.htm or by calling (828) 280-3355. Tickets at the gate are $25, so fans are encouraged to purchase tickets early. Hours for the festival are 6pm-Midnight, Friday June 15, and 10am-Midnight, Saturday June 16. Lawn chairs and blankets are encouraged, though coolers are not permitted. Parking is free.