CELTIC Connections is celebrating its most successful year to date with over 110,000 attendances at the festival’s concerts and other events and gross ticket sales topping £1.15 million.
Some 2000 artists from around the globe took part in this year’s festival, which included a reunion for Scottish rockers Del Amitri, an International Burns Night at the Hydro including The Mahotella Queens from South Africa, Karine Polwart, Dougie MacLean and Carrbridge singer Rachel Sermanni, among the approximately 300 concerts, ceilidhs, talks, free events, late night sessions and workshops, taking place in nearly 20 venues across Glasgow over the 18 days of the festival.
The festival is renowned for its ambitious programme of one-off shows, world exclusive performances and unique collaborative events. The 2014 line-up explored the connections between Celtic music and cultures across the globe, bringing musicians from all over the world to Glasgow, with acts from as far afield as Australia, India, South Africa, Mali, Malawi, Cuba and Jamaica as well as across Europe, the USA and Canada.
Sold-out shows included Celtic Connections’ Opening Concert with Nicola Benedetti, Aly Bain, Phil Cunningham and Julie Fowlis, Capercaillie’s 30th Anniversary Concert, Julie Fowlis, Flook with Mairearad and Anna, Lewis Psalm Singers, Ceolas and Rachel Sermanni.
The middle weekend of Celtic Connections also featured a major showcase of Scottish music, with 214 international music industry delegates from over 29 countries in Glasgow to sample the cream of Scottish musical talent performing as part of Showcase Scotland at Celtic Connections.
The largest gathering of the international music community in Scotland, Showcase Scotland provides acts with the opportunity to perform in front of promoters, record labels and agents from countries all over the world.
"Celtic Connections 2014 really has been the biggest and best yet," festival artistic director Donald Shaw said.
"It was really exciting to showcase the festival at the SSE Hydro and attendances have once again been fantastic, topping 110,000 for the first year ever. I would like to say a special thanks to the amazing artists who travelled all the way from Australia and India to be part of the festival — they definitely added an extra special element this year.
"Each January we endeavour to bring exciting new sounds to Glasgow and we’ve seen some world class performances over the past 18 days. As well as featuring an array of international acts we’ve celebrated the vibrancy of the Scottish folk scene, which still remains the driving force behind the festival."