Boston's Celtic Music Fest


Summer BCMFest

Sunday July 3rd, 2016

FREE Outdoor Day Concert from 2:30-5pm

Ticketed Evening Concert at Club Passim from 7-10pm

This year marks the 2nd annual Summer BCMFest, set to be held on Sunday, July 3rd from 2:30-10pm. The event will include a FREE outdoor day concert on Palmer Street (directly adjacent to Club Passim in Cambridge) from 2:30-5pm featuring the Boston University Step About Boston Celtic Dance Club, Afro-Celtic-funk band Soulsha, as well as step and participatory dancing. The festivities will continue into the evening for an indoor ticketed event at Club Passim from 7-10pm, which will feature violinist Mariel Vandersteel and Friends and the Coyne Family Band. Summer BCMFest is a recent addition to the more longstanding BCMFest, held every January. Don’t miss out on this longstanding cultural tradition to engage with some truly delightful Celtic musicians and performers.


14th Annual BCMFest
January 13-15, 2017

Artist Applications for the 2017 Festival are now Open until July 14th.



INFO: press about BCMFest | BCMFest Blog

About BCMFest

BCMFest (Boston’s Celtic Music Fest), a program of Passim, showcases Greater Boston’s best musicians, singers, and dancers from Irish, Scottish, Cape Breton, and other Celtic traditions. BCMFest hosts an annual weekend-long festival in January that features more than 100 performers.

Throughout the year, BCMFest organizes the Celtic Music Cruise, Boston Urban Ceilidh, and monthly Celtic Music Monday Sessions at Club Passim, which spotlight local Celtic musicians and singers.

Laura Cortese, Shannon Heaton, Leanne McNally, and Sean Smith head the BCMFest committee. Please contact them with any questions about the festival.


BCMFest Mission

  • To produce locally-based Irish, Scottish, and Cape Breton music and dance in an upbeat and friendly environment.
  • To bolster appreciation for traditional Celtic music and dance among youth and the Greater Boston community.
  • To support a living, changing tradition by encouraging cross-genre collaborations and innovations among dancers and musicians of all generations.
  • To produce a variety of collaborative projects and performances for the Greater Boston community.

Hanneke Cassel BCMFest Photo


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BCMFest was born after Laura Cortese (Scottish fiddle) and Shannon Heaton (Irish flute) realized that recently they had seen many great, traditional Celtic music acts playing it the area; they thought it would be exciting if more of the Boston-area trad players worked with local folk music venues like Club Passim, the Burren, Johnny D’s, and the Canadian American Club. Soon after their talk, Laura and Shannon began planning a weekend-long showcase of local traditional talent—a Boston Celtic Music Fest to celebrate the rich, diverse pool of traditional music and dance in the Boston area.

The festival has become a hub for generating ideas, energy, and community support for local, traditional Celtic music and dance performers. In 2011, BCMFest became an official program of Passim. Today, in addition to the annual festival in January, audiences and artists can enjoy monthly concerts at Club Passim that feature a broad selection of Boston-based Celtic music and dance acts.

As BCMFest enters its tenth year, the festival is stronger than ever, and its vision is more refined. By presenting touring professionals, tradition-bearers, and young performers, the festival offers a variety of music not found anywhere else. The list of performers and fans involved in the festival continues to grow, a sign that BCMFest is a vital addition to the Boston music community.