Celtic Connections tune up for online festival

Innes Watson, Hamish Napier, Donald Hay, Jarlath Henderson and Duncan Chisolm joined forces for the recordings. Photograph by Sean Purser.

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Across 19 days, Celtic Connections online festival will present more than 30 performances between Friday January 15 and Tuesday February 2.

Glasgow-based five-Piece folk band Imar perform on Saturday, January 23. Photographer: Gaelle Beri

World-class concerts will be available to view online with some of the biggest names on the Scottish music scene and beyond appearing on screens across the globe as part of the winter extravaganza.

Celtic Connections has created unique digital content from specially commissioned projects and performances filmed across many of Glasgow’s much-loved venues. International artists have also contributed to the eclectic line-up by recording performances remotely.

Traditionally, the festival welcomes over 100,000 attendees to Glasgow, a UNESCO City of Music, and on announcing the digital-first festival organisers hoped it would appeal to the wide international audience they usually see attending the festival. All shows will be available for a week after they are first streamed to alleviate any restrictions for different time zones enjoying the range of content.

Jaz vocalist Georgia Cecile takes to the stage on Sunday January 17. Photographer: Gaelle Beri.

Donald Shaw, creative producer for Celtic Connections, said: ‘The concept for a digital-first Celtic Connections was borne out of a desire to promote wellbeing and optimism amongst fellow musicians as much as it was about still being able to offer entertainment to our loyal Celtic Connections audiences during the dark nights of January.

‘The resounding feeling that has come out of the recording days is that they created a space for musicians to come back, to play again and to feel part of the community that they helped to create.

‘The last time a lot of the contributing artists performed was at Celtic Connections 2020 and now they are back playing as part of the festival one year on after what has undoubtedly been the hardest year of their careers.

‘We feel incredibly proud that as a festival, along with our funding partners, we have allowed for this safe space for them to play again, embrace their creativity and ultimately give them hope that there is a future for them within this industry.’

Opening in unparalleled style, the first online concert from the festival will include sets from some of the very best musicians on both the Scottish and international music scenes with over 12 performances packed into the 90-minute show.

Sally Simpson from Westward the Light. Photographer: Gaelle Beri.

Each night’s online concert will show an ambitious line-up of various performers.

Although the festival has gone online this year, the education element of the festival still holds as important a place as ever for Celtic Connections 2021 while the packed programme also offers Dementia Friendly concerts.

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.


Friday 15th January

Celtic Connections 2021 Online Celebration Concert (Various Artists) 7.30pm – 9pm £10

Aired on BBC ALBA channel: EP1 Cuirm@Celtic Connections: Duncan Chisholm 9pm

Saturday 16th January

BEMIS presents ‘The New Scots in Concert’ 6pm – 6.50pm £2

Shooglenifty – RANT – Fiona Hunter – Paul McKenna 7.30pm – 9pm £7

Sunday 17th January

Josie Duncan – ‘New Voices’ 1pm £2

Chris Stout & Catriona McKay – Georgia Cecile – Fergus McCreadie – Sona Jobarteh 7.30pm – 9pm £7

Monday 18th January

Come Away In with Karine Polwart, Eddi Reader, Rab Noakes, Siobhan Miller & Finlay Napier 7.30pm – 9pm £7

Tuesday 19th January

Dementia Friendly Concert with Catherine Tinney and Luc McNally 1pm -1.45pm free

Breabach – Aidan O’ Rourke 365 – Rachel Newton – Bassekou Kouyate – Katherine Priddy 7.30pm – 9pm £7

Wednesday 20th January

Blue Rose Code – Karen Matheson – LYRE – Rory Butler 7.30pm – 9pm £7

Thursday 21st January

Ross Ainslie Band – Talisk – Mànran – Siobhan Miller – Beth Malcolm 7.30pm – 9pm £10

Friday 22nd January

Blazin Fiddles – Xabier Diaz – Gnoss – Deirdre Graham 7.30pm – 9pm £7

Aired on BBC ALBA channel: EP2 Cuirm@Celtic Connections: The Staves 9pm

Saturday 23rd January

Dreamers Circus – Kathleen MacInnes – Imar – Rajasthan Dawn Concert 7.30pm – 9pm £7

Admiral Fallow in Concert 9pm – 10pm £7

Sunday 24th January

Charlie Stewart – New Voices 1pm £2

The Secret Sisters – Kinnaris Quintet – An Tobar Presents 7.30pm – 9pm £7

José González in Concert from Sweden 9pm – 10pm £10

Monday 25th January

James Grant & Halleluliah String Quartet – Siobhan Wilson – Zoë Bestel 7.30pm – 8.45pm £7

Aired on BBC Scotland channel: Burns Night with the BBC SSO, Eddi Reader and Karen Matheson 7pm – 8pm

Aired on BBC ALBA channel: EP3 Cuirm@Celtic Connections: Bard Mhealboist 10pm

Tuesday 26th January

Dementia Friendly Concert with Robbie Greig and Hamish MacLeod 1pm -1.45pm free

Fara – Rachel Walker – Assynt – Chloë Bryce 7.30pm – 9pm £7

Wednesday 27th January

‘Home on the Sea’ (sponsored by CalMac) 7pm – 8pm £5

Cherish the Ladies – Westward the Light – Nae Plans 8pm – 9.30pm £7

Thursday 28th January

The Conundrum 2021 – TRYST – Project Smok 7.30pm – 9pm £7

Friday 29th January

Transatlantic Sessions with Special Guests 7.30pm – 8.30pm £10

QuebecFest featuring Le Vent Du Nord, De Temps Antan & Isle Gross 8.45pm- 10.00pm £7

Saturday 30th January

Elephant Sessions in Concert £10

Roaming Roots Revue with Special Guests £10

Sunday 31st January

Steven Blake – New Voices 1pm £2

Edwin Morgan 100th 7.00pm – 7.45pm £5

Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi – Kris Drever – Dean Owens with Joey Burns (Calexico) 8pm – 9.30pm £7

Monday 1st February

Taigh Chearsabhadh 7.30pm – 8.30pm £5

Tuesday 2nd February

Programming information to be confirmed

More information on ticketing and programming is available at  www.celticconnections.com