By Marc Donnelly
Glasgow’s biggest folk festival Celtic Connections begins its 20th anniversary celebrations today.
The festival kicked off on Thursday with a performance from flamenco guitar player Vicente Amigo and his band outside Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall.
They were joined by several other Scottish musicians and the festival’s artistic director Donald Shaw to launch the event.
The festival will see acts coming from all aross the globe, with some travelling from as far afield as Mexico.
Some of the acts that are booked to perform at tonight’s anniversary concert are Eddi Reader, Julie Fowlisand Finlay MacDonald, among others.
Artistic director Donald Shaw said: “Many artists performing over the next 18 days have been involved in the festival for a number of years but there is also an array of fresh new talent being showcased.
“This year the programme is the most diverse yet.”
This year’s festival is not only special because of the anniversary.
During the 18 day period, a special concert will be held to honour Michael Marra, a 60-year-old Scottish folk artist who died last year from cancer.
The initial aim for the festival was to fill the Royal Concert Hall’s sparse schedule in January but it has now become one of the biggest winter festivals in the world.
The opening concert begins on Thursday at 7.30pm.
The full schedule for the festival can be found on the Celtic Connections website.