We’re now several months into COVID, and the festival world has certainly been the worse for wear. Luckily, a few techno-savvy folks have kept the festival experience alive, and one terrific example is Celtic Festival Online.
Spearheaded by veteran Celtic artisans Billy & Nichole Healy of Healy Glass Artistry and Colleen & Chris Conway of Ogham Art, Celtic Festival Online offers everything you would expect to find at a traditional Celtic Music festival.
The goal was simple. Hundreds of thousands of people attend Celtic festivals every year as a way to celebrate and, in some cases, embrace their own Celtic roots. Celtic Festival Online was designed to provide a virtual venue for artisans, musicians and others who promote Celtic culture as a profession. This way everyone can connect on a perpetual basis.
Similar to a live festival, Celtic Festival Online is segmented with areas dedicated to music, culture and shopping. The website is supported by social media accounts on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. Combined, these platforms feature a mix of curated and exclusive content such as live performances, demonstrations, tours and behind the scenes peeks.
There’s a full list of performers. There is a full Marketplace, which is reminiscent of strolling along the aisles of a busy Exhibitor Hall. Merchants have mini-stores on the Celtic Festival Online website, and each mini-store lists products for sale and links to the merchants’ individual websites. And of course, there’s the Cultural Tent where visitors may stop by for a Gaelic lesson or a cooking demonstration. And let’s not forget storytelling! Naturally, these are also videos, but it’s wonderful to find all this in one place.
Celtic Festival Online interviews each of its musicians, dancers, merchants, and cultural personalities before presenting them to the public. This way visitors can be certain that all content is enjoyable and edifying. Viewers can support performers via donations which Celtic Festival Online has established for them using PayPal. Shoppers can support the merchants by making purchases.
This has certainly been a labor of love for Billy & Nichole Healy and Colleen & Chris Conway – and the quality of their effort shines. While we all hope to be attending live events in 2021, I personally hope that Celtic Festival Online will continue for many years to come.
Erin Rado – Ravensdaughter – Celtic Art Store.