By Barbara B. Covell
For the TODAY
It has been 17 years since the village of Yachats launched the first Celtic Music Festival to honor the Gaelic heritage of the Oregon Coast. Throughout the years, the festival has evolved to celebrate the music, art, food and lifestyle of the area’s Celtic roots.
Robert Rubin and Stephan Farish, board members of organizer Polly Plumb Productions, say this 17th festival will be the most authentic; featuring traditional and contemporary music in a three-day, event-packed weekend staged at multiple Yachats locations.
“If you like Celtic music, this will be a pure experience,” Farish said. “We are back on track with offering a real Celtic music roster.”
“If you don’t know about Celtic music, you’d be surprised,” Rubin added. “It influences all forms of music. So many of the old songs that were a part of the birth of our nation, such as folk and bluegrass. It’s all in our roots.”
Beginning at noon on Friday, Nov. 10, the festival will see the auditorium of the Yachats Commons transformed into a Celtic pub.
“We are changing the atmosphere to reflect an authentic Gaelic pub with tables and chairs throughout to encourage a relaxed and friendly mood,” Farish said. “Wait staff will be on hand to serve Celtic food and drink at all hours with music, dancing, storytelling, and jam sessions throughout the weekend. Vendors will be onsite to offer their Celtic art, clothing, food imports, and musical instruments.”
Most of the festival events are free of charge, with the exception of special headliner concerts and artistic events. These premiere program events can be purchased via a weekend pass or a one-day pass.
“The entire community is involved with this festival,” Rubin said. “Motels, restaurants, and local businesses will be offering Celtic themed entertainment, food and merchandise. It will be a spectacular party atmosphere.”
Friday, Nov. 10
This year’s festival kicks off with live music from noon to 2 pm in the “pub” area of the Yachats Commons. At 2 pm, the concert stage transitions to the first of four special shows, highlighting musicians Bob Soper and Elizabeth Nicholson, Kevin Carr and Company, and the Bronnie Griffin Band. This three-hour concert promises to be an extravaganza. At 4:30 pm, don’t miss the traditional Piper at the Point with Kevin Carr on bagpipes.
From 5 to 6 pm, free Celtic music and entertainment resumes in the Commons. Then prepare to rock during Friday evening’s dynamic special concert from 6 to 9 pm, featuring Lindsay Straw, Na Rosai, and the incredible Seamus Egan Project.
And don’t forget nighttime after hours, where the party continues at the Drift Inn, with jamming musicians and Scottish Whisky tasting until late.
Saturday, Nov. 11
At 10 am, the Commons “pub” features a free Irish Breakfast Tea, courtesy of the Drift Inn. Elizabeth Nicholson will be performing on the harp, followed by a series of mini musical sessions hosted by the festival music crew. From 1 to 4 pm the third special concert will feature the Bob and Elizabeth Band with Bronnie Griffin, Lindsay Straw, and Na Rosai.
Free Celtic entertainment resumes from 4 to 6 pm, and at 4:30 pm, the Piper at the Point with Kevin Carr on bagpipes returns for a final performance.
The Saturday evening concert is very special, with performances by the Bronnie Griffin Band, Kevin Carr and Company, and a powerhouse Celtic headliner show by the Seamus Egan Project. This is the first time Seamus is touring on his own since leaving the Celtic band Solace.
Sunday, Nov. 12
Entertainment begins at 10 am, with all Commons events offered free throughout the day. An all-star jam performs from 10 to 11:30 am with the festival music crew. From 11:30 am to 1 pm, Ceili dancing takes the stage, featuring Na Rosai with Maldon Meehan calling. From 1 pm to closing, Bronnie Griffin and friends ravage the stage with a Celtic jam.
A host of Irish workshop dances are scheduled on Saturday, Nov. 11, at the Yachats Lions Club. Dance events are free to those with day or weekend passes.
From noon to 1 pm, Kelsey Wilson teaches Old Style Irish Step Dance for adults; followed by a Children’s Dance Workshop from 1 to 1:45 pm.
From 4 to 5 pm, Maldon Meehan instructs the Irish Sean-Nos Dance for adults.
The popular Little Log Church small venue concerts will host Bronnie Griffin and guest on Friday at 1 pm. At noon on Saturday, meet Seamus Egan for an intimate hour of music; $10 with a weekend or day pass.
On Saturday at 5:30 pm enjoy a gentle harp concert with Elizabeth Nicholson and guest.
From 9 to 10 am on Friday and Saturday, Margot and Rich Fetrow, aka: ‘Hammers and Whistle,’ will perform a traditional Celtic dulcimer and whistle concert in the hotel lobby of the Overleaf Lodge.
For more information, or to buy tickets, go to www.yachatscelticmusicfestival.org or