Celtic Connections is programmed by Artistic Director (and founding member of Celtic supergroup Capercaillie) Donald Shaw, and features over 300 events across multiple genres of music.
The festival is renowned for its strong spirit of collaboration, bringing together one-off line-ups for very special one night only collaborative shows. The camaraderie between musicians continues into the wee small hours at the late-night Festival Club – home of legendary musical collaborations and spontaneous sessions.
There are situations that you’ll see where people are playing that you’ll never see again, or if you do, it’s because it worked here first.
At the core of the festival is the Education Programme, which sees 10,000 school children attend one of five free concerts each year, many experiencing live traditional Scottish music for the first time. Every year, the festival works closely with new and established artists in order to commission new works through individual compositions and the acclaimed New Voices series. Since the festival’s inception over 65 new commissions have taken place. Ideally, these collaborations and commissions are then performed at different festivals to ensure the legacy of new works continues.
An integral part of the festival is the annual staging of Showcase Scotland. A global leader in its field inviting over 200 music industry delegates, Showcase Scotland provides Scottish acts with the opportunity to perform in front of promoters, record labels and agents from over 25 countries and often leads to record deals and overseas touring contracts, promoting Scottish music and artists to new audiences around the world.