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Music fills the air as the Berea Celtic Fest returns to Madison County

Berea Celtic Fest

The Berea Celtic Fest is returning to central Kentucky this weekend. The event is a gathering of musicians, singers and dancers. In addition to local artists, the gathering is expected to host professional musicians from 13 states.

Sune Frederiksen is President of the Berea Folk Circle Association and organizer of the Berea Celtic Fest.

Frederiksen said Berea is a great location for this kind of music, because without Celtic music, there would be no Bluegrass music.

“Because Eastern Kentucky was predominantly settled by Scott Irish and they brought music over from Ulster, Northern Ireland and Ireland and Scotland and the islands, the Orkney Islands and so on. So, if you like Bluegrass music, you will love Celtic music,” said Frederiksen.

Frederiksen said this year’s lineup is perhaps the strongest ever.

“People have been eager to get out after the pandemic, to meet other people, and that's why we also call it a gathering. So this is not like a big huge festival. This is a gathering where musicians meet one another, inspire one another, want to give a little bit and want to take a little bit and educate themselves and educate other people,” said Frederiksen.

Frederiksen said Saturday is the biggest day of the gathering, with live Celtic music in locations across the city from 10:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday.

Most of the music is free to enjoy, with just a couple ticketed performances on the schedule. All donations go to festival promotion and travel expenses for musicians.

The gathering ends with a Celtic evening starting at 5 p.m. Sunday.

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Samantha was a reporter and All Things Considered Host from 2019 to 2023. Sam is also a graduate of Morehead State University and worked for MSU's Public Radio Station.
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