by Hannah Thomson
Performers booked for this year’s Celtic Connections gathered outside Glasgow’s Royal Concert hall for a twentieth anniversary press launch.
The Scottish music festival brings five continents together for an eighteen day event which celebrates Celtic music and its connections from around the world.
Running from 17th January – 3rd February, concerts from critically acclaimed artists such as Mary Chapin Carpenter, Dougie Maclean and The Mavericks will take place as well as ceilidhs, talks, art exhibitions, workshops and free events.
Talented Scottish fiddler Duncan Chisholm with his band Wolfstone was the first musician ever to perform at Celtic Connections when it began and will be entertaining audiences again in 2013.
The Opening Concert will stick to its roots and feature those who have been Celtic Connections veterans over the past two decades, with performers including Eddi Reader, Julie Fowlis, Cara Dillon and Capercaillie.
Artistic Director, Donald Shaw praised the events uniqueness, saying: ““There are situations that you’ll see where people are playing that you’ll never see again, or if you do, it’s because it worked here first.Every year we explore the connections between Celtic music and other musical genres, as well as with cultures across the globe. This year, the programme is the most diverse yet.”
The event first began in 1994 to merely fill the Royal Concert hall’s January schedule and now hosts an audience of over 120,000 music fans.
In 2012, as part of Year of Creative Scotland, the festival traveled to Chicago to deliver performances throughout the Ryder Cup including the opening and closing ceremony.
It is now considered one of the biggest winter festivals in the world.