Celebrating the roots of traditional Scottish music, Celtic Connections is unlike any other festival in the UK. Expect to see world famous stars like Van Morrison and Sinead O’Connor, as well as local heroes and up and coming stars, indulging in their love of all things Celtic. With concerts, talks, exhibitions, workshops and ‘ceilidhs’ – traditional dancing and singing social gatherings – you’ll find plenty to keep you busy all day and night. Want to stay close to all the festival action? There are plenty of Premier Inns ready and waiting to get your stay off to a great start.
Celtic Connections takes place across a number of venues in the city from mid-January to the first weekend in February.
Although Celtic Connections is a multi-venue festival, its focal point is always the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Here you’ll find performances taking place in every available space. From workshops in the foyer to performances in the Main Auditorium. Other venues may vary but they regularly include the Old Fruitmarket, City Halls, ABC, The Tron, The Piping Centre, The Classic Grand and The Tall Ship.
As the festival occurs over a few weeks, there are a variety of ticket options you can choose from. Whether you want to pick particular events or go to everything, there’s plenty of choice. Check the festival’s website to find out more.
Disabled festival goers should buy a ticket, and then contact the organisers to ensure that any special requirements can be catered for. Remember, this is a multi-venue festival so some events may have better access and facilities than others. It’s always best to check in advance.
Since starting in 1994, Celtic Connections has gone from strength to strength. Now featuring over 2,000 international folk, roots and world music artists at 300 events, across 20 venues, it has become the UK’s premier celebration of Celtic music. Although the festival programme contains lots of concerts and talks, at its heart is its Education Programme, which sees thousands of school children attend free live music concerts ranging from Scottish song and dance to storytell drama.
Every night of the festival, once all the concerts are over, the late-night Celtic Connections Festival Club kicks off. Running into the small hours of the morning, this features one-off collaborations between artists appearing at the festival. Find out more on the Celtic Connections website.
Eating and drinking
Whether you want to grab a quick bite before your next festival event or fancy sitting down to a full meal, there’s lots of choice in Glasgow.
If you’re attending an event at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, why not pop into the Encore Café for a range of hot and cold food, including soups and sandwiches. For bigger meals, head to the Green Room for a three-course meal.
If you want to head out of the festival venues for a bite to eat you’ll find plenty of options in the city centre. From French food at La Bonne Aubergeand Italian at O Sole Mio to American barbeque at The Raven and Chinese at Wokway, you can take your taste buds on a culinary journey in Glasgow.
Getting to Celtic Connections
Festival events will be occurring across the city centre, so you’ll need to make the most of Glasgow’s great transport options.
You’ll find plenty of bus routes crisscrossing the city to help you get from venue to venue. Buchanan Street bus station is right across the street from Glasgow Royal Concert Hall so it's easy to jump on a bus.
If you’re arriving by train and want to go straight to the festival, Queen Street station is a quick 3-minute walk away from Glasgow a Royal Concert Hall.
The Subway is a quick way to get around the city centre venues. It takes just 24 minutes to complete a circuit of all fifteen stations.