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More than 125,000 attend Celtic Connections festival

Organisers of the Celtic Connections festival have announced the dates fore next year's event.

Celtic Connections: Highlights of 2020.
Celtic Connections: Highlights of 2020.

Glasgow’s Celtic Connections festival has attracted more than 125,000 people to events in the city, organisers said.

Organisers announced the dates for next year as the festival drew to a close on Sunday after 18 days of performances by musicians from across the world.

Next year’s festival will take place from January 14 to January 31, and work has already begun on scheduling the event.

This year more than 300 events took place, with around 2100 artists taking to 29 stages and travelling from as far afield as Canada, Senegal, Burma, Finland, India, Australia, Portugal and Mali.

Among more than two dozen acts playing on the closing weekend was Latin and Celtic fusion outfit Salsa Celtica, who performed a 25th anniversary celebratory concert.

Organisers expect the final attendance figure to be around 130,000.

The opening night featured a new orchestral symphony inspired by the Declaration of Arbroath, marking the 700th anniversary of the 1320 declaration of Scottish independence with six brand new pieces by leading Scottish composers.

As well as live music, there was also a range of talks, workshops, film screenings, theatre productions, ceilidhs and exhibitions.

A first for this year was the festival within a festival of Coastal Connections, which began with a 10-metre sea goddess puppet called Storms parading through the city centre.

Made of recycled materials, the giant puppet aimed to highlight the need to protect the marine environment.

Celtic Connections’ creative producer Donald Shaw said: “The end of the festival is always a bittersweet moment.

“Though it’s sad when the music stops, it’s also great to look back on such a successful event as this one, which has brought together so many talented performers and presented so many dynamic and creative collaborations.

“Feedback from our audiences and musicians has been fantastic.”

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “This has been yet another excellent Celtic Connections, with 18 days of music by traditional and folk artists from around the world.

“I particularly enjoyed the opening concert celebrating the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath, featuring new work funded by the Scottish Government’s Festival Expo Fund.”


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