Curtain closes on Celtic Connections 2024
World-renowned folk, roots and world music festival Celtic Connections drew to a triumphant close in Glasgow last night after 18 days of spectacular sold-out concerts, innovative musical sessions and star-studded collaborations.
From Thursday 18 January to Sunday 4 February, the city came alive with over 300 incredible events involving 1,200 artists across 25 of the city’s venues.
The biggest winter festival of its kind in Europe, known for its eclectic mix of genres and inclusive atmosphere, is celebrating over 100 sold-out shows alongside welcoming over 115,000 attendees.
Once-in-a-lifetime collaborations, rare performances from global sensations, moving tribute concerts, and some of the biggest shows ever played by homegrown talent were all showcased across the city for the 31st edition of Celtic Connections. The extensive programme featured hundreds of concerts which celebrated the tradition, innovation and unifying power of music.
Donald Shaw, Creative Producer for Celtic Connections, said: "This year's Celtic Connections was a testament to the creative power and enduring importance of the arts and the music of the people. The richness of talent on display, the diverse range of genres, and the infectious enthusiasm of the audiences made this year’s edition truly special. It's heartening to see the festival grow and evolve, bringing together artists and audiences from all walks of life, joined by a shared appreciation for music, art and cultural expression.
“The continued success of Celtic Connections reflects the passion and commitment of everyone involved. My thanks go to each person who bought a ticket, performed on our stages, volunteered their time, worked on or backed the event – and to the people of Glasgow who welcomed the world with open arms. Your support is the heartbeat of the festival, and it's your enthusiasm and dedication that make this celebration of music possible year after year.
“Scotland has a rich tapestry of musical traditions, and Celtic Connections is a platform that showcases the beauty and diversity of our own folk music, as well as that of other countries, and the expansive connections that has created. I am immensely proud of how well Scotland continues to champion folk music on the global stage, and feel truly excited about the path that lies ahead for what we’re proud to say has become a world-renowned event.”
Culture Minister Christina McKelvie said: “Celtic Connections always provides a brilliant start to the year and as another successful edition draws to a close I want to give my thanks to everyone who made it possible and all those who attended.
“I was fortunate enough to be able to see several fantastic performances over the course of this year’s festival, including the opening concert, the Norwegian acts that played at Showcase Scotland, and the wonderful Red Clydeside Centenary Concert for the great John Maclean. The talent, warmth and energy that Celtic Connections always brings never fails to impress and I’m sure I’m not alone in eagerly awaiting next year’s programme.”
Alan Morrison, Head of Music at Creative Scotland said: “Powered by the energy of its artists and enthusiasm of its audiences, Celtic Connections has given Scotland’s music scene the best possible start to 2024. From the Opening Concert onwards, fans have sung the praises of some of the best gigs they’ve ever seen at this or any other festival. It’s a triumph for our own traditional music and a prime example of how connecting with artists from all over the world can brighten the darkest days.”
Glasgow Life Chair, Bailie Annette Christie, said: “Celtic Connections 2024 has been a resounding success, and a spectacular showcase of some of the very finest musical talent that Scotland, and almost every corner of the globe, has to offer across a wealth of genres.
“This year’s wonderfully expansive, exciting programme, and superb international line-up of established and emerging artists, has delighted a very broad range of audiences and attracted festival goers in their thousands. A remarkable range of shows, special performances and inspirational events have been staged at our venues over the past 18 days – further enhancing Glasgow’s reputation as a world-class cultural events destination and shining the spotlight on its status as a celebrated UNESCO City of Music.
“This 31st edition of Celtic Connections has not only demonstrated how internationally renowned and much-loved this unique festival is, it has also emphasised how immeasurably important it is to Glasgow and to Scotland – and we look forward to building on its incredible legacy in future years.”
Celtic Connections began in 1994 when it offered 66 events at just one venue. It has grown more adventurous, experimental and diverse each year, with an unwavering ambition to showcase the very best traditional folk, roots, Americana, jazz, soul, indie and world music, and nurture unique local, national and international cultural partnerships. The festival is now a core part of the city’s annual cultural events programme, delivered by charity Glasgow Life.
Celtic Connections 2025 will take place from Thursday 16 January to Sunday 2 February 2025.
More details on the success of this year's festival can be found in our press release.