“If there’s one thing that makes wintertime in Glasgow great then it’s Celtic Connections.” – The Guardian, 12th January 2015.
On Thursday 14th of January right through until Sunday 31st January 2016, Glasgow is set to, once again, re-welcome the traditional music festival of the year back to Scotland – Celtic Connections.
Now in its 21st year, the aptly named festival celebrates Celtic music and its connection to cultures around the globe. For 18 days straight, musicians from around the world will descend on Glasgow and bring the city to life with concerts, chats, exhibitions, art, workshops, ceilidhs and a plethora of free events. What is not to love?
The festival is renowned for its strong spirit of collaboration, a place where many one-off collaborative performances and spontaneous jamming sessions take place until the wee small hours of the morning.
Stars of world, folk and roots music will perform on 26 stages at venues across the city. Celtic Connections remains a breeding ground of musical talent from a variety of cultures across the globe, and where better to host it than in our back yard?
The Celtic Connections artistic director, Donald Shaw, said: “For 2016, we are bringing superstars and cult heroes, new talent, and artists who were legends long before the first Celtic Connections was staged. “This year we weave stories of pilgrimage, of crossing continents, we celebrate anniversaries and the Auld Alliance.”
The Auld Alliance between Scotland and France will be centre stage at this year as the festival celebrates France as the partner country for 2016 and the 10th anniversary of the twinning of Glasgow and Marseille. To mark the occasion, beer lovers will rejoice to learn that the Drygate Brewery will once again create a brand new craft beer with French hops, which will be available at all venues.
Councillor Archie Graham, Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “Glasgow is a welcoming city which is proud of its heritage and embraces diversity. Each January we host a festival which in many ways mirrors our home city.
“Celtic Connections brings together musicians from across the world for a celebration of musical traditions, the best of contemporary folk and world music, and the ways in which different musical cultures interweave and inspire and, always, entertain. The festival has a fantastic line
up, including Rickie Lee Jones, The Chieftains, Lau, The Unthanks, Béla Fleck, Moving Hearts, Robert Plant, Lucinda Williams, Admiral Fallow, Toumani Diabaté, Karine Polwart, Boys of the Lough, Larry Carlton.
There will be over 60 public workshops taking place over the three weekends for all ages and abilities. Highlights include the Ukulele School hosted by Finlay Allison and The Fiddle Village hosted by Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas.
The festival is also delighted to welcome the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra back again. This annual festival is a rare opportunity to see our city’s thriving and diverse traditional music scene that you simply cannot afford to miss.
Whether you are a Celtic Queen or a complete beginner, join in with the conversation at @ccfest and www.celticconnections.com.