credit candyschwartz via flickr licensed under CC Attribution 2.0 Generic _https___creativecommons.org_licenses_by_2.0_deed.en_

In Anticipation of: Celtic Connections Festival 2023

By Jeevan Farthing

A summary of things to look out for over the next three weeks.

The annual Celtic Connections festival returns to Glasgow from Thursday 19 January to Sunday 5 February, offering a lineup of musical, theatrical and other events encompassing traditional, folk, indie, jazz and Americana genres. A range of venues throughout the city will host performances big and small, from the grandeur of the Royal Concert Hall to the intimacy of The Hug and Pint. As the 30th edition of the festival, this particular lineup not only includes those involved with the Scottish music scene over previous decades, but also young and emerging artists.

Opening the first night is the centrepiece event: Celtic Connections’ 30th anniversary concert. This includes a range of folk artists, including Karine Polwart, Sierra Hull, Basco, Peat & Diesel and TRIP, as well as a big band which will perform in person for the first time after their initial creation for the online 2021 festival. Happening at the same time is a solo slot for Rachael Dadd, who lives as a travelling musician in Japan.

Student focused events are plentiful, with five lunchtime free concerts from Monday 23 to Friday 27 January in Glasgow Caledonian University, as well as a traditional music showcase from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland on Saturday 21 January. Standout musicians performing at the festival include Scottish indie band The Twilight Sad on Sunday 29 January, as well as Aoife O’Donovan, who will play a rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s album Nebraska on Tuesday 31 January.

On every Friday and Saturday night, as well as some other evenings, there will be late night events happening from 11pm. These include the designated late night sessions at the Drygate Brewery, as well as the Celtic Connections Festival Club taking place at the Glee Club, where the lineup of artists is not announced beforehand.

It is not just musical events on offer, though, with talks called Brew and the Blether (including one hosted at and discussing the Mackintosh at the Willow tea room), walking trails exploring traditional venues around Merchant City, film screenings about traditional bands, as well as online workshops on the strathspey technique and bowing patterns. There is also a particular emphasis on intersectional events, including When Mountains Meet (a musical adventure from the highlands to the himalayas, exploring the director’s Pakistani heritage), and Afro Celtic Connections.

All of this culminates in a final day packed full of events centred around the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year Final 2023, which takes place at 5pm in the City Halls on Sunday 5 February.


Share this story

Follow us online

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments