Celtic Connections festival started in 1994 in Glasgow, Scotland,
and has since been held every January. Featuring over 300 concerts,
ceilidhs, talks, free events, late night sessions and workshops, the
festival focuses on the roots of traditional Scottish music and also
features international folk, roots and world music artists. The
festival is produced and promoted by Glasgow’s Concert Halls. Donald
Shaw, a founding member of Capercaillie, was appointed Celtic
Connections Artistic Director in 2006. Shaw announced in February 2018
that he would be stepping aside from the role. 
At the core of the festival is the Education Programme, which sees
thousands of school children attend free morning concerts experiencing
live music ranging from Burns to spiritual and blues. Celtic
Connections also continues to foster new and young talent through its
Young Tradition and New Voices series of concerts, and through the
Danny Kyle Open Stage competition.
Every night of the festival, once the concerts are over, the
Festival Club runs through to the small
hours of the morning. No programme is announced in advance, and the
club is renowned for one-off collaborations between musicians
appearing at the festival.
Celtic Music Radio broadcasts in the
Glasgow area on 1530 kHz and
on http://www.celticmusicradio.net, and is based in the
Concert Hall during the festival.
Celtic Music Radio broadcasts around
7 hours of live material from the venue every day. This includes
interviews with performers, reviews and previews of gigs, and live
coverage of concerts, including every act on the Danny Kyle Open
4 Broadcast coverage
5 See also
7 External links
Celtic Connections festival was founded by Colin Hynd in 1994 to
fill a scheduling gap in the
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall's normally
quiet post-Christmas period. The first festival took place in just one
venue attracting around 32,000 people to attend.
In February 2004,
Celtic Connections was presented with The Good
Tradition Award at the
BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards
BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in recognition of its
exceptional contribution to traditional music and culture. The
festival also recently picked up a Nordoff Robbins Tartan Clef Award.
In its 13th year (2006), over 100,000 people filled 10 venues seeing
hundreds of artists brought to
Glasgow from every part of the globe.
Celtic Connections celebrated its 15th birthday, with
festival attendances reaching 120,000 and events taking place across
14 venues throughout
Glasgow over 19 days.
Celtic Connections brings in visitors from throughout the world and is
an integral and vibrant part of cultural life in Glasgow, with the
economic impact on the city reaching £5.8 million in 2007. The
festival actively promotes artistic links and cultural exchange across
countries, reinforced by Showcase
Scotland which brought 200 music
industry delegates from 35 different countries to
Scotland looking to
book Scottish bands for festivals abroad in 2008.
The 2008 festival opened with the Common Ground concert where many of
the artists taking part in the event performed together. Donald Shaw,
artistic director of the festival, spoke about the future of Celtic
Connections as well as the 1,000+ acts and 300+ events taking place in
2008 exclusively online.
Celtic Connections 2009 ran from Thursday 15 January to Sunday 1
February, and featured performances from students on the BA Scottish
Music course at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
Artists who have appeared at the festival in the past include Bob
Delyn a'r Ebillion, Waiora, Julie Fowlis, Joan Baez, Bob Geldof,
Clannad, Capercaillie, Luar na Lubre, Kate Rusby, Sinéad O'Connor,
Alison Krauss, Shane MacGowan, Runrig, Eddi Reader, Evelyn Glennie,
Carlos Núñez, James Grant, Dougie MacLean, Billy Bragg, Blazin'
Fiddles, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Mariza, Seth Lakeman, The Clan Gregor
Society Pipe Band, k.d. lang, Steve Earle, Idlewild, Teenage Fanclub,
Bert Jansch and Bernard Butler, Eilidh Steel and Mark
Neal, Malinky, Fran Healy, Alan Stivell, Alison Brown, Anna
Coogan and many more. In 2014 they included Mary Chapin Carpenter
Bobby Womack and
Del Amitri with for the first
time performances in the new 12,000-seat Hydro Arena. In 2016,
Rhiannon Giddens and
The Milk Carton Kids
The Milk Carton Kids performed.
The focal point of the festival is the
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall,
where performances take place in every space, from workshops in the
foyers, to performances by world-class artists in the Main Auditorium.
The Old Fruitmarket, City Halls, ABC, The Tron, The Piping Centre, The
Classic Grand and The Tall Ship also regularly host Celtic Connections
In the past,
Celtic Connections events have taken place in The
Barrowlands, The Arches, Tramway and
Celtic Connections festival has been broadcast on community radio
Celtic Music Radio 1530am in Glasgow.
BBC Radio Scotland
provides extensive coverage while many features have also been
broadcast on Radio Borders. From 2013 It has also been broadcast on
TD1 Radio, internet radio station in Galashiels. Highlights are
broadcast on national station
BBC Radio 2
BBC Radio 2 and in
BBC Alba's occasional
series Cuirm @ Celtic.
Culture in Glasgow
^ Ferguson, Brian (4 February 2018). "Donald Shaw to 'step aside' as
Celtic Connections artistic director". The Scotsman. Retrieved 13
Scotland Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West Celtic Connections
BBC News. 2008-02-04. Retrieved 2014-08-19.
^ "Scotland". Scotlandontv.tv. Retrieved 2014-08-19.
Glasgow - News, views, gossip, pictures, video - Daily Record".
Theglaswegian.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-08-19.
^ "Great Breton". The Scotsman. 2004-01-01. Retrieved
^ "Artists". Celtic Connections. Retrieved 2014-08-19.
^ TD1 Radio
BBC ALBA - Cuirm @ Celtic". BBC. Retrieved 2015-12-26.
Celtic Connections homepage
Major music events and festivals of Scotland
Be in Belhaven
Live 8 Edinburgh
Hebridean Celtic Festival
Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
World Pipe Band Championships
Isle of Skye
Callander Jazz and Blues Festival
The Edge Festival
T in the Park
Aberdeen International Youth Festival
Big in Falkirk
Edinburgh International Festival
Live at Loch Lomond
Montrose Music Festival