The Celtic Connections festival will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2018. In true Celtic Connections style the festival will feature an ambitious and eclectic line-up of musicians from all corners of the world who have been invited to take to the Glasgow stage early next year.
The festival will run from Thursday 18 January to Sunday 4 February 2018. The 18 days of entertainment will brighten up the dark, wet January nights with a mixture of concerts that will include a host of one-off musical collaborations alongside talks, workshops, film screenings, ceilidhs, art exhibitions, free events and late night sessions.
When the festival began in 1994 doubters couldn’t believe the “sheer audacity” of festival organisers to plan an event of such length and scale during the month of January, when purse strings were pulled tighter and people were more inclined to batten down the hatches on the dark dismal nights than head out into the night to attend a gig, especially a folk gig!
Not only were the timings described as wrong but so also was the venue, the festival was centred round the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall which was described as “too formal, too plush, too posh for the essentially scruffy, laid-back creature that is folk music.” From these initial scepticisms and the various doubters the Celtic Connections festival grew at an unprecedented rate, increasing from 66 events in one venue with 27,000 attendees in 1994 to 172 events across 11 stages with 50,000 attendees in 1997 to now putting on over 300 events across 26 stages and an attendance figure of over 100,000.
Not only has the Celtic Connections festival grown in terms of events, stages and visitors’ attending but it has also grown significantly in terms of the music that it showcases, the genres it embraces and the international artists it welcomes. Celtic Connections 2018 will embrace music from the past to music of the present and will look ahead to the future of an increasingly experimental and exciting music scene.
With this year’s line-up and one-off collaborations the festival will show how much Scotland’s music scene has changed over the last 25 festivals, with ever increasing musical styles and cross genre fusions of jazz, classical, folk, world and electronica.
For the programme line-up and to purchase tickets visit www.celticconnections.com
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