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Celtic Connections 2006

11-29 January 2006, Glasgow

Celtic Connections
NEWS FLASH: Celtic Connections sees launch of new radio station
The Programme
History and Background
Showcase Scotland

Celtic Connections

Fire-eater at Celtic Connections; Photo: Ashley Coombes Celtic Connections is recognised not only as the premier Celtic festival in the United Kingdom but also as one of the largest winter music festivals of its kind in the world.  Now in its thirteenth year, over 100,000 people are filling 12 venues over 19 days, listening to hundreds of artists brought to Glasgow from every part of the globe.

The festival focuses on the roots of traditional Scottish music and features some of the most prominent names in roots and world music in over 400 events.  It brings in visitors from throughout the world and is an integral and vibrant part of cultural life in Glasgow.  Celtic Connections actively promotes artistic links and cultural exchange across countries, reinforced by Showcase Scotland which last year brought 160 international delegates looking to book Scottish bands for festivals abroad.

The central venue of the festival is the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, where performances take place in every space - from workshops in the foyers, to performances by world-class artists in the Main Auditorium.  Concerts are also regularly hosted in The Piping Centre, The Barrowlands, The Arches, Tron Theatre, Tramway and Glasgow Cathedral.  The biggest news at this year's festival is undoubtedly the re-opening of the City Halls and the Old Fruitmarket.  Celtic Connections will officially re-open the venue's doors.

At the core of the festival is the Education Programme, featuring free concerts and school visits during the January Festival and residencies in schools at other times in the year.  Last year the programme saw thousands of children attend five free morning concerts experiencing live music ranging from Burns to spiritual and blues.  Celtic Connections also continues to play a vital role in fostering new and young talent through its Young Tradition and Master & Apprentice series of concerts.

NEWS FLASH: Celtic Connections sees launch of new radio station

Tune in now to FM 106.6

Scotland's leading folk, roots and world music festival, Celtic Connections now boasts its own specialist radio station, Celtic Music Radio, and directors of the station have ambitions for it's continued success beyond the closing date of the festival, aiming to turn it into a permanent fixture.

Celtic Music Radio currently broadcasts live from the city centre location of Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall and has a temporary license to run for the duration of the festival. The board are keen to see it continue beyond the festival period and the station will apply for a Community of Interest Community Radio License for the Glasgow area.

For further information, see our notices section and visit the station website.

The Programme

The programme this year is more varied and involves more venues than ever before.  Over 400 events are planned for Celtic Connections 2006.  Artists appearing at this year’s festival include Roddy Frame, Steeleye Span, The Levellers, Capercaillie, The Dubliners, The Waterboys, Richard Thompson, Altan and Dougie MacLean.  The festival opens following the now annual Torchlit Procession from George Square to the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall steps.

This year's festival sees the return of Donald Shaw’s ‘Harvest’, his special commission which was premiered at Celtic Connections 2004. Harvest rehearsals 2004; Courtesy: Donald Shaw

There will also be the ever-popular Celtic Connections Festival Club from 10.30pm in the Holiday Inn (City West) every night of the festival. This is the place to keep the party going after all the gigs are over, and rub shoulders with world famous artists as they make special unbilled appearances alongside the best newcomers.  This year the Festival Club will be hosted by Gibb Todd.

Ten school concerts will be presented as part of the Education Programme this year, featuring headline acts from Britain, Ireland, Canada and Denmark. The concerts will feature the usual high standards of music, song and fun with audiences invited to sing-along, clap and to just enjoy the whole spectacle.  As well as the headline bands, each concert will feature special guests and young local performers.

For the full programme of events and booking details, visit Celtic Connections online.

History and Background

Celtic Connections festival goers; Photo: Ashley Coombes In 1994 the first Celtic Connections festival was launched in just one venue attracting around 32,000 people to attend.  It was programmed to fill a scheduling gap in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall’s winter season and to meet the growing demand for folk music. Since then it has developed into a city-wide celebration of Celtic music and culture.

Although focusing mainly on Scottish traditional music, the festival is truly international. Performers from the Celtic heartlands of Canada, USA, France and Spain regularly appear - and in the last two years, it has begun to showcase Nordic music. Artists who have appeared at the festival in the past include: Joan Baez, Bob Geldof, Capercaillie, Kate Rusby, Sinead O’Connor, Alison Krauss, Shane MacGowan, Runrig, Eddi Reader, Evelyn Glennie, Dougie MacLean, Billy Bragg, Beth Neilsen Chapman, Mariza and many many more.

In February 2004 Celtic Connections was presented with The Good Tradition Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in recognition of it’s exceptional contribution to traditional music and culture. The festival also recently picked up a Nordoff Robbins Tartan Clef Award and following last year's win, another nomination for "Best Festival" at the 2004 Scottish Traditional Music Awards.

Showcase Scotland

Showcase Scotland 2006 takes place in Glasgow during January as part of Celtic Connections.  It provides a platform of the best of Scottish music, presenting it to delegates from the international music circuit.  Showcase Scotland has proven highly valuable in promoting Scottish music overseas.  It directly benefits the artists who gain international exposure and the opportunity to meet the people who can help them build a career beyond our shores.

Brought to you by Celtic Connections, The Scottish Arts Council, British Council Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and PRS Foundation, Showcase Scotland is the largest gathering of the international music community in the Scottish calendar; a chance for promoters, record labels, agents and the press to meet both the Scottish music industry and each other.  However, the main focus is the vast array of performances which highlight the very best in Scottish Music.  Showcase Scotland, now in its seventh year, will be focusing in 2006 on artists from the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.

Running from 19 to 22 January 2006, the event is free to international delegates and the weekend consists of:

  • four days
  • 10 venues
  • 60 artists, bands and performers
  • seminars, discussions, talks and networking
  • Trade Fair
Showcase Scotland logo; Photo: Showcase Scotland

For more information on Showcase Scotland, visit the Showcase Scotland website.

For more information and programme details for Celtic Connections, have a look at the Celtic Connections website.

Related links
* Celtic Connections
* Showcase Scotland
* Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
* The Piping Centre
* The Barrowlands
* The Arches
* Tron Theatre
* Tramway
* Glasgow Cathedral
* Roddy Frame
* The Levellers
* Capercaillie
* The Waterboys
* Richard Thompson
* Altan
* Donald Shaw's 'Harvest'
* BBC Radio 2 Folk & Acoustic
* Nordoff Robbins
* 2004 Scottish Traditional Music Awards
* British Council Scotland
* Highlands and Islands Enterprise
* PRS Foundation
* Music Home
* Other music projects
* Music projects archive
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