2018 Radford Highlanders Festival
Venue: Bisset Park, Radford
Organizations: Burt Mitchell, Tuatha Dea
Date: Saturday, October 6, 2018
Time: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Event Types: Music, Food, Sports, Miscellaneous, Family Friendly
Cost: Free
Radford University and the City of Radford present the 22nd Radford Highlanders Festival on Saturday, October 6, 2018 at Bisset Park.

Festival Schedule:
• 9:00 am - Highland Games begin
• 10:00-10:30 am - Grand Entry - Massed Bands and Scottish Clans
• 10:00 am: Brave Heart 5K Run/Walk begins

Main Stage - Gazebo:
• 9:00 am: Virginia Highlands Pipes and Drums
• 9:30 am: Appalachian Highlanders Pipes and Drums
• 10:30 am: Burt Mitchell
• 11:00 am: Tuatha Dea
• 12:00 pm: Radford University Highlanders Pipes and Drums
• 12:30 pm: Burt Mitchell
• 1:00 pm: Tuatha Dea
• 2:30 pm: Burt Mitchell
• 3:00 pm: Tuatha Dea

Community Stage - Shelter #1:
• 11:00 am: American Roots
• 12:00 pm: Porterfield Ensemble adaptation of "Walk to Freedom: Mary Draper Ingles Story"
• 1:00 pm: PanJammers Steel Drum Orchestra
• 2:30 pm: West End

The Radford Highlander Festival brings together Scottish Highland Games, Celtic music, massed pipe and drum band performance, Scottish clan march, sheepherding demonstrations, booths from more than 50 craft and food vendors and family friendly entertainment for festival lovers of all ages.

Music will be headlined by this year by Tuatha Dea and Burt Mitchell.

Tuatha Dea, The Appalachian, Celtic,Tribal, Rock Band (and family) from Gatlinburg, Tennessee has been called pure primal energy with a Celtic, world and rock twist. The bands eclectic sound blends the tribal vibe of primitive drums with conventional and non conventional instruments to create a real evolutionary musical crossover that defies category and genre! Combining primal rhythms, melodic and ethereal ballads, screaming guitar riffs with an Appalachian and Celtic vibe this family born of a family drum circle delivers an authentic tribal and clannish feel that not only draws the audience into the music but into the moment and clan as well.

Their rhythmic groove and interaction naturally inspires audience participation which has become a staple of their performances. From the beginning the band has embraced its Celtic heritage and meshed the traditional music of Scotland and Ireland with their own bold blend of mainstream rock, mountain drumming and Appalachian blues to produce a truly unique sound that has a universal appeal! Dubbed “The Eclectic Steam Punk Partridge Family in Kilts and Corsets” and “The Appalachian Fae”, this band is REAL family!

Tuatha Dea won the The Hard Rock Rising competition 2015 in Pigeon Forge with their unique sound and energetic stage show and is the only Celtic/Steam Punk styled band to place and remain in the running to compete in Barcelona, Spain. Last year, Tuatha Dea placed #15 out of the 10,000 bands that competed worldwide in Hard Rock Rising’s 2014 competition.

Touring extensively about the US and Canada. Tuatha Dea has been featured at Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in North Carolina, Houston’s Comicpalooza, Tartan Day South in South Carolina, West Tennessee’s Celt Fest, The Gatlinburg Scottish Highland Games, Western Kentucky Highland Festival, Michigan’s Celtic Copper Hammer Festival, The Virginia Highland Games, The Dandridge Celtic Music Festival, The Great Newtown Reunion, Connecticut, International Festival in Kentucky, Kaleidoscope Festival in Canada, Starwood in Ohio, PSG in Illinois, Paralounge in Florida and many other large scale festival events around the continent. Performing with such acts as Seven Nations, Albannach, Celtica, Raithkelter, Barley Juice, Soar Patrol, Wendy Rule, Hudost, Spiral Rhythm and many others Tuatha Dea brings their unique flavor vibe and sound accented visually by their energy and flamboyant stage show!

Tuatha Dea is an Old Irish phrase adopted from the Celtic mythology of the Tuatha de Danaan whose literary history originates in Ireland and Great Britain. The name “Tuatha Dea” literally translates into “Children of The Gods”. The band’s Celtic influence stems directly from this historical clan which lived and ruled for a period in ancient Ireland and who were later destined to become the stuff of legend and basis of Celtic mythology. Those who dwelt beneath the burrows. The Children of The Gods.



Bagpiper Burt Mitchell grew up in piping family in Wilmington, Delaware, where he learned to play the pipes from his father, Robert Gilchrist and Roderick MacDonald starting at the age of six and has been teaching the instrument after being offered a full scholarship to Valley Forge Military Academy at the age of fifteen. He became one of the top players in America having won the award for the Eastern US’s Best Open Piper for year while still in his teens. He has won the same award twice since.

Mitchell continues teaching piping and is considered one of America’s top players on the instrument. He has been the full-time piping instructor at VMI since 2000 and has taught cadets who have never played before to become proficient players in the Pipe Band consisting in excess of fifty members. He has instructed various pipe bands and has created a unique methodology for instruction of the bagpipe called “Pipe Teacher’s Assistant”. This popular book and CD series is equally respected in Scotland as well as the US as a teaching tool.

He tours regularly with Ceili Rain, a Celtic rock band from New York.



Over the past 20+ years, the festival has more than tripled in size, and now attracts an estimated crowd of 10,000 people. Whether a family’s background is of Scots-Irish origin or of other descent, the day always brings with it an air of excitement and anticipation. There is no place more beautiful than Southwest Virginia in autumn and the Blue Ridge Mountains provide a beautiful back-drop for the fall festival.

Admission is free and and all are welcome.

For more information on the Brave Heart 5K, visit: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=487568.

The festival is a joint partnership with the City of Radford and Radford University.

To view the event flyer, visit: https://i.imgur.com/Hni2tkB.jpg.

For more information, visit: http://www.radford.edu/content/festival/home.html or https://www.facebook.com/RadfordHighlandersFestival/ or call 540-831-6255.
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