Celtic Connections announces the festival will go online in 2021

Celtic Connections announces the festival will go online in 2021

Credit: Gaelle Beri

Glasgow's annual folk, roots and world music festival will run online from Fri 15 Jan to Tue 2 Feb

Celtic Connections, the UK's premier celebration of Celtic music, has announced that the 2021 festival will be delivered digitally for the very first time due to the ongoing global pandemic. Concert performances by over 500 folk, roots and world musicians will be available to watch via online streams from Fri 15 Jan to Tue 2 Feb.

Across the 19 days of the festival, performances by some of the biggest names on the Scottish music scene and beyond will be available to view online, including some of the most recognisable and cherished acts that have traditionally participated in Celtic Connections in years past. The virtual programme will also include an array of ceilidhs, talks, art exhibitions, workshops and free events.

For the past 28 years, Celtic Connections has been held in venues across Glasgow, annually welcoming over 100,000 festival attendees to the UNESCO City of Music. The online performances included in this year's programme will be available to view for a week after they are first streamed to ensure that music fans around the world are able to enjoy the music performances regardless of time zone.

Donald Shaw, Creative Producer for Celtic Connections, said: 'Of course one of the hardest consequences of the Covid virus for musicians this year has been the loss of live audiences in venues, so like many festivals we have had to look to an alternative way of presenting the Celtic Connections experience. In a world where so much is unknown it is vitally important that as a sector, we do all we can to ensure the longevity of Scotland's culture. Sharing our music and our arts is a vital part of our human existence, it connects us as a nation both at home and abroad. We owe so much gratitude to our funding partners who have supported our plan to put together a festival that embraces and showcases Scotland's culture whilst supporting both the artists and the supply chain that keep this sector running.'

The festival will primarily focus on showcasing musical talent from Scotland and the digital content will include specially commissioned projects and performances filmed across many of Glasgow's finest venues. Celtic Connections hopes to support and encourage the creative industries in Scotland to protect the country's rich musical legacy.

Historically, Celtic Connections has united and collaborated with cultures and musical talent from all over the world and the festival is well-known for putting together unique line-ups for special collaborative shows. Although the festival will feature predominantly homegrown talent, a number of remotely-filmed performances by international acts will also be included in the programme to ensure that the festival continues to help foster musical connections, collaborations and relationships around the world.

Alan Morrison, Head of Music at Creative Scotland, said: 'For almost three decades, Celtic Connections has brought the world to Scotland; in 2021 it will take Scotland to the world. All across the planet, Scotland's traditional music is recognised for its distinctive character, the richness of its heritage and the sheer genius of our artists. Despite the challenges of Covid, next year's festival will extend its reach by providing a platform for musicians itching to perform for audiences at home and abroad. With Glasgow's venues and Scotland's tech crews ensuring top-quality production values for every show, Celtic Connections 2021 is sure to be a celebration of everyone who makes live music possible – even in these troubled times.'

The full Celtic Connections online programme and details on how to book tickets are set to be announced on Wed 2 Dec.

For more information, visit celticconnections.com

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