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GRIT at Barrowland-Ballroom, 2020: Photo credit: Gaelle Beri

Celtic Connections 2024: A Melting Pot of Musical Cultures

Explore Celtic Connections 2024, Glasgow's premier festival, uniting global musicians across diverse genres for a spectacular winter musical celebration.

From the heart of Glasgow, a city that pulsates with the rich rhythms and melodies of diverse musical genres, comes the return of the renowned Celtic Connections festival, scheduled to enchant audiences from the 18th of January to the 4th of February 2024. Celebrating its vibrant 30-year history, the festival lights up the dark winter nights, offering a robust menu of performances that traverse genres like traditional, indie, Americana, Jazz, blues, and orchestral music. The festival, which has firmly established itself as one of Europe’s premier folk, roots, and world music festivals, is an anticipated event for over 110,000 attendees, musicians, and performers from around the globe.

Connecting music, cultures, and generations

Celtic Connections is more than just a festival; it’s a global gathering where the old and the new, the traditional and the contemporary, the local and the international converge in a spectacular showcase of music. The festival meticulously crafts a programme that spans 25 venues in Glasgow, a UNESCO City of Music, spotlighting over 300 events that stitch the varied tapestry of musical expressions, from acoustic and intimate to high-energy and orchestral.

A star-studded line-up

This year, the festival once again curates a palette of performances that invites exploration into the realms of music, featuring a plethora of artists and groups from across the world, including North America, West Africa, India, Australia, Ukraine, Norway, and France, among others. The line-up boasts an impressive array of talent, including but not limited to:

  • Chris Thile & BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra: Delivering the European premiere of ATTENTION!
  • Edgar Meyer & the Scottish Ensemble: A European live premiere amalgamating strings and double bass expertise.
  • Angélique Kidjo: Celebrating 40 years of enthralling performances with her mix of West African roots and Afro-beat grooves.
  • DakhaBrakha: Offering a trans-national sound deeply rooted in Ukrainian culture.
  • Carlene Carter, Béla Fleck, Bruce Hornsby, Sarah Jarosz, Teddy Thompson, The Milk Carton Kids, Tommy Emmanuel, Darlingside, and Tim O’Brien: Representing a wealth of transatlantic talent.
  • FARA, Paul Buchanan (The Blue Nile), Aoife O’Donovan, Lau, Maeve Gilchrist: A blend of Orcadian folk, visionary folk band, and harp compositions.
  • Dougie MacLean: Celebrating 50 years of music-making with “Songmaker 2024”.
  • Roddy Hart’s Roaming Roots Revue: A celebration of the great Scottish Songbook with talent like Simon Neil, Roddy Woomble, Rod Jones, and Justin Currie.

Local Scottish talent is also celebrated and showcased, with performances by Dallahan, RANT, Breabach, Mec Lir, Heisk, Session A9, The Canny Band, Beth Malcolm, TRIP, Lauren Collier, Tarran, Amy Laurenson, and many more.

More than performances

Noteworthy is the festival’s dedication to fostering emerging talents through its New Voices strand, this year featuring celebrated cellist Alice Allen, whistle and bagpiper Ali Levack, and young fiddler Charlie Grey.

In a special international collaboration, the Citadels of the Sun, which presents in tandem with Jodhpur Rajasthan International Folk Festival, will see Irish and Rajasthani musicians converge, featuring artists like Martin Coyle, Paul Cutliffe, Sarah E Cullen, Asin Khan Langa, and Sawai Khan Manganiyar.

Moreover, the festival is also a hub for educational programmes, screenings, workshops, dementia-friendly concerts, and late-night sessions, ensuring it offers rich, diverse experiences for every attendee.

A tradition of connecting cultures

Celtic Connections, which began in 1994 with 66 events at a single venue, has blossomed into a mammoth celebration of cultures, traditions, and musical explorations. Each year, it broadens its horizons, welcomes more artists, and deepens its impact, offering a stage for unique local, national, and international cultural partnerships.

This 2024 edition promises a massive influx of international talent, particularly from transatlantic regions, showcasing an expansive and diverse program to enthrall both new and returning audiences, encouraging them to immerse themselves in the dark winter nights, lit brilliantly by the magic of music, culture, and connection.

Tickets for Celtic Connections 2024 go on sale at 10 am, Wednesday 11th October, with the programme and tickets available at celticconnections.com.