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Montelago Celtic Festival, Italy

Montelago is Italy’s largest Celtic festival, held annually on the first weekend in August on the Apennine mountain plains straddling the Umbria-Marche regional border in central Italy. Launched in 2003, today the three-day event attracts some 20,000 kilted enthusiasts from all over Italy and beyond, with 22 European countries and 18 from further afield represented in the heaving, jovial throngs that descend on the festival every year.

The centerpiece of the festival is its music, featuring concerts on two stages throughout Friday and Saturday until sunrise on Sunday. Opening night is now dedicated to the European Celtic Contest finalists with the promise for its victors of performing on Celtic stages around Europe the following year. In addition, festivities include Celtic games (such as tossing the caber and tug o’ war), Celtic battle re-enactments, a traditional Celtic village, 7-a-side rugby tournament sanctioned by the Italian Rugby Federation, Celtic music, craft and dance workshops, Celtic weddings, and an extensive Celtic market with over 70 stands offering traditional and creative Celtic products.

While the centerpiece of the festival is its music, its soul derives from what the locals refer to as Il Popolo di Montelago (the Montelago Community). The Popolo consists of Montelago faithfuls for whom the festival is the main event of the year, providing as it does a haven of harmony, peace and good-natured fun, and a place where they can get away from the concrete and time-driven demands of everyday life in the splendour of its natural surrounds.

Further information: Montelago Celtic Festival website or email info@montelagocelticfestival.it