"; align="left" hspace="10" width="354" height="233">A Celtic festival of music and games is hardly the sort of thing you’d expect to find in the mountains of central Italy. But the Montelago Celtic Festival, launched in 2003, routinely attracts over 20,000 exuberant and kilted Italians and Europeans for a totally unique weekend experience. Every year on the first weekend in August, the alpine plains of Colfiorito straddling the border of Le Marche and Umbria throb to the beat of Europe’s Celtic heavyweights, with the final act bringing the sun up on Sunday morning. This year the festival is held on 3rd-4th August, with the Peatbog Faeries headlining at 1:00am on Saturday night/Sunday morning. Previous editions have featured Celtic heavyweights such as Hevia, Kila, and Berrogüetto.

The mainly under-30 crowd, who camp in a reserved area for the two-night event, are boisterous but amicable as they heave to the music, toss the caber, pulse to the thrusts of a Celtic battle reenactment, and trip through the more than 50 Celtic stalls (amongst which is a stand dedicated to Tolkein). 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.

Within striking distance are as many travel gems as you’d like from the outdoor (the Grand Circuit of the mythical Sibillini Mountains) and the celebrated (Assisi), to the “indoor” (Frassasi Caves) and the unheralded (the art and architecture of almost any village/town you happen into).

For further information, see the festival’s web site (www.montelagocelticfestival.it">; – in Italian) and its English blog at">;


Watch the Festival Promo!

Montelago Celtic Festival Details

Date: 2-3 August, 2013
Location: Serravalle di chienti, Le Marche, Italy
Type: Celtic festival
Established: 2003
Size/capacity: 15,000

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2013 Lineup: Stramash (Scotland), Bags of Rock (Scotland), Massimo Giuntini Band (Tuscany, Italy), Folkomondo (Emilia-Romagna, Italy), The Jar (Le Marche, Italy), Diabula Rasa (Emilia-Romagna, Italy), Auli (Latvia), Electric Mompracem (Le Marche, Italy), Red Pack (Lazio, Italy), Beltaine (Poland), Power Pipes (Austria), Taberna Vinaria (Tuscany, Italy)

Entrance: €20 (entire weekend)
Getting there: Buses from Civitanova Marche (Adriatic coast, Le Marche); Florence, Siena (Tuscany); Foligno (Umbria)