With 2014 just around the corner – yes, that’s right, only two and a half months to go – it’s now time to start thinking about making plans for the New Year.
I am already thinking about how I‘m going to beat the January blues. Luckily for me, Scotland’s premier winter music festival, Celtic Connections, kicks off on 16 January, and with tickets sales opening and line up announcements appearing today (15 October), I’m pouring over the programme, trying to decide which shows I’ll be attending.
Now in its 21st year, this Glasgow festival blends traditional and distinctive Scottish sounds with a huge variety of music from across the globe, with folk, roots and world-music genres featuring heavily. It’s a true celebration of both home grown talent and international performers. As part of the Year of Homecoming 2014 celebrations, Celtic Connections will hold the very first International Burns Concert on the birthday of our National Bard, Robert Burns in Scotland’s new performance venue, the SSE Hydro. It will celebrate the inspiration of Burns throughout the world and Scotland’s musical links with the Commonwealth nations (if you’re not already aware, Glasgow is set to host the XX Commonwealth Games in the summer of 2014).
During this one-off milestone concert, a cross-cultural line up will include Scottish voices Karen Matheson and Dougie MacLean and South African vocal trio The Mahotella Queens are just some of the acts who will take to the stage. And as for the other 17 days of the festival? There are around 2,000 artists to discover so it’s just the not-so-simple matter of deciding what to see.
For me, American blues and soul legend Bobby Womack, Glasgow five-piece Mogwai and Irish singer-songwriter James Vincent McMorrow are the hot tickets, but how will your Celtic Connections shape up? On looking at the line up, you’re bound to find names you have heard of and, often more interestingly, names you have not – it’s the perfect festival to make new musical discoveries.
Get planning and find out more about the Celtic Connections programme and tickets. And when in the city, why not check out Glasgow’s many great attractions, restaurants and bars?
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