FolkWorld #73 11/2020
© Innes and Campbell Communications

Le Vent du Nord & De Temps Antan

Celtic Digital Connections

Celtic Connections

15 Jan - 2 Feb 2021

Artist Video Celtic Connections

Celtic Connections has announced the first list of artists who will perform as part of their digital-first festival this January. Across 19 days, the festival will present online performances every night between Friday 15th January - Tuesday 2nd February 2021.

World class performances will be available to view online with some of the biggest names on the Scottish music scene and beyond appearing on screens across the world as part of the winter festival. An early bird ticket has been released that gives unlimited access to the full 19 nights of entertainment for only £30.

The festival is creating unique digital content from specially commissioned projects and performances filmed across many of Glasgow’s much-loved venues. In doing so the festival will support and encourage the creative industries to help protect Scotland’s rich musical legacy. Celtic Connections also welcomes BBC ALBA as a broadcast partner with exclusive performances and a new series of Seirm@Celtic Connections.

The initial line-up has been announced with some of the most well-known and best-loved acts who have traditionally graced the festival stages confirmed to take part in this digital-first event. Celtic Connections prides itself on its international relations and every year it showcases artists from across the world. Organisers have ensured that a number of international acts who have filmed their performances remotely are also included in the line-up alongside a host of incredible homegrown talent.

Project SMOK

Artist Video Project SMOK @ FROG

Westward the Light

Artist Video Westward the Light @ FROG


Artist Video Ìmar @ FROG

The line-up for Celtic Connections 2021 will include:

            Admiral Fallow
            Aidan O'Rourke 365
            Amira Kheir
            Bassekou Kouyate & Amy Sacko
            Blazin Fiddles
            Blue Rose Code
            Cherish The Ladies
            Chris Stout & Catriona McKay
            Declan O'Rourke
            De Temps Antan
            Duncan Chisholm & Scottish Ensemble
            Eddi Reader 
            Edwin Morgan 100th
            Elephant Sessions
            Fergus McCreadie Trio
            Fiona Hunter 
            Georgia Cécile
            Grosse Isle
            James Grant 
            José González
            Kinnaris Quintet
            Kris Drever
            Karen Matheson
            Kathleen MacInnes
            Le Vent Du Nord
            Mairearad Green
            Paul McKenna Band
            Project Smok
            Rachel Newton
            Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi
            Roaming Roots Revue
            Rory Butler
            Ross Ainslie
            SCO with Karine Polwart & Pekka Kuusisto
            Siobhan Miller
            Sona Jobarteh
            Sorren MacLean & Hannah Fisher
            The Secret Sisters
            Transatlantic Sessions
            Westward the Light
            Xabier Diaz
            Zoe Bestel

Celtic Connections is delivered by the charity Glasgow Life and is funded by Glasgow City Council, Creative Scotland and The Scottish Government Festivals EXPO Fund. Annually welcoming over 100,000 attendees to Glasgow, a UNESCO City of Music, organisers hope the festival’s digital-first programme will appeal to the wide international audience they traditionally see attending the festival. With the festival’s global audiences in mind, they have allowed for all shows to be available for a week after they are first streamed to alleviate any restrictions for different time zones enjoying the range of content.

Donald Shaw

Artist Video

Donald Shaw, Creative Producer for Celtic Connections, said: “It has been a challenging but exciting process pulling this year’s digital festival together. I would like to say a huge thank you to all of the musicians who have contributed both at home and abroad, it has been brilliant to see them all get behind the concept and support our vision. We can’t wait to bring all of this great music into people’s homes this January!”


Artist Video Breabach @ FROG

Councillor David McDonald, Chair of Glasgow Life and Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council said: “The announcement of the programme for Celtic Connections is always an exciting moment giving a glimpse of the outstanding performances to look forward to in January. This year, more than ever, the festival will connect people around the world through a love of music with its roots in Scotland. It will be a major showcase for some incredible talent and will be a reminder of the hope we all have of being back in venues in the near future to enjoy live performances.”

Alan Morrison, Head of Music at Creative Scotland, said: ““Now that Celtic Connections has announced some of the acts that will brighten up our January nights, we can start to look forward to what 2021 has to offer. This online edition of the festival will give a global boost to our home-grown artists while ensuring that an international thread continues to run through the programme. So many must-see performances, all in the one place, keeping Glasgow at the heart of the musical world.”

Early Bird tickets can be purchased here. The Early Bird ticket will be available for a limited time only. After this, the price for an ‘All-Access’ ticket will increase to £40. Tickets to individual concerts will also be available to buy from early January, when the programme schedule is released. The Celtic Connections Rover Membership Programme is back for 2021 with a Celtic Rover Digital package that includes access to a host of exclusive Celtic Rover extras as well as the Celtic Connections Festival pass which gives the individual access to all of the festival content over the 19 days. The Celtic Rover Digital package is £45.

All concerts are recorded whilst fully adhering to social distancing guidelines and all current government guidance are observed and followed. Celtic Connections ask that even in watching and enjoying this digital-first festival, all audiences adhere to the government guidance relevant to them at their time of watching.

Celtic Connections began in 1994, when its 66 events centred around one venue, the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, and welcomed 27,000 attendees. Since those early days Celtic Connections has become more adventurous, more experimental and more diverse and now annually welcomes over 100,000 attendees and over 300 artists to Glasgow for over 2000 events. The diverse programme has traditionally included world-class concerts and one-off musical collaborations alongside talks, workshops, film screenings, theatre productions, ceilidhs, exhibitions, free events and late-night sessions. A huge range of musical genres are showcased across the festival, as well as genre-busting performances that defy any attempt at categorisation. This, alongside a host of special commissions and creative collaborations, have made the festival both distinctive and internationally acclaimed.

Photo Credits: (1) Le Vent du Nord & De Temps Antan (by Karsten Rube); (2) Celtic Connections, (7) Breabach, (8) Shooglenifty, (9) Blazin' Fiddles, (10) Bassekou Kouyate, (13) Rhiannon Giddens, (14) Eddi Reader, (19) Karine Polwart, (22) Talisk, (23) Fara (unknown/website); (3) Project SMOK, (4) Westward the Light, (5) Ìmar (by Gaelle Beri/Celtic Connections); (6) Donald Shaw, (15) Karen Matheson (by Adolf „gorhand“ Goriup); (11) Chris Stout & Catriona McKay (by Lukas Traxler/Wackelsteinfestival); (12) Sona Jobarteh (by Mario Gerth & Bugs Steffen / Africa Festival); (16) Xabier Diaz (by Eric van Nieuwland/Womex); (17) Duncan Chisholm, (18) Siobhan Miller, (20) Paul McKenna Band, (21) Mànran (by Walkin' Tom).

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