Celtic Connections festival begins with 25th anniversary celebration

Musicians from around the world are descending on Glasgow this month as the Celtic Connections festival gets under way in its 25th anniversary year.

The music festival will feature concerts, talks, workshops, film screenings, ceilidhs, art exhibitions, free events and late-night sessions over the next 18 days.

It begins on Thursday with a special anniversary concert featuring artists who have performed at the event over the past quarter of a century.

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Overall, more than 300 events are set to take place across 28 stages around the city, with an attendance figure of over 110,000 expected.

Donald Shaw, artistic director of the festival, said: "With Celtic Connections' 2018 programme we have really tried to reflect the last 25 years of Scotland's unique and evolving music tradition, and the worldwide influences that have made their mark on it.

"We are showcasing some of the very best home-grown talent this country has produced alongside a host of outstanding international talent.

"There are performers playing who were here right at the very start and some who, 25 years ago, people would never have expected to see perform on a Celtic Connections stage.

"Here's to 25 more years of bringing the best the world has to offer to Glasgow."

Cherish the Ladies are taking part in the opening concert (SNS Group/PA)
Cherish the Ladies are taking part in the opening concert (SNS Group/PA)

The festival began as a series of concerts celebrating music from the Celtic nations and has since grown to become a major event in the UK festival calendar, attracting artists from all over the globe.

Glasgow Life chair councillor David McDonald said: "Since its modest beginnings, Celtic Connections has firmly established itself as the festival of choice not only for lovers of folk and traditional music but also for anyone who wants to enjoy outstanding music from across the world."

The festival will run until Sunday February 4.