In January 1994, 35,000 people gathered to celebrate celtic culture during the first Celtic Connections Festival, using all available spaces in The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.
In 1994 the front cover of the main brochure proclaimed:
Glasgow is the warmest place to be in January - and this event has all the warmth associated
with this great city.
An additional leaflet informed potential folkies:
In response to the many requests from patrons for a broad based Celtic music programme, staff at the Concert Hall devised "the Celtic Connections Festival" which will take place over a fortnight in mid January '94, '95 and '96. This year the emphasis is on celtic folk groups and singers, modern celtic art, the art of conversation, a fashion show and a number of ceilidhs.
The folk groups, singers, celtic art, talks and ceilidhs have continued to this day. However the fashion show was never to be repeated.
Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham
Kate and Anna McGarrigle
Boys of the Lough (Left Bottom)
Its big and its brave... The Herald
There is little doubt that the inaugural Celtic
Connections will go down as something of a watershed in the
current folk ... Scotland on Sunday
A runaway success... Evening Times
BBC Radio Scotland have supported the festival since the very start. Mr Anderson's Fine Tunes, Travelling Folk and Celtic Connections all were broadcast live from The Concert Hall foyers during 1994.
The very first Celtic Connections concert was from celtic rockers Wolfstone with Four Men and A Dog and Dhais in the Main Auditorium at The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Tickets cost between £6.50 and £8.50 and a standing arena was available.
The very last concert of the first festival was Sharon Shannon and her Band who played the Strathclyde Suite at 10pm on Sunday 23rd. Sharon was 24 when she first played the festival but was already very well respected in traditional, folk and rock circles.