Celtic Connections music festival has been declared a “resounding success” after selling out more than 100 shows and welcoming 115,000 attendees.
The folk, roots and world music festival drew to a close on Sunday night after 18 days of world-class entertainment and 300 shows involving 1,200 artists across 25 Glasgow venues.
Donald Shaw, Creative Producer for Celtic Connections, paid tribute to the talents of the performers and the enthusiasm of the audiences.
He said: “It's heartening to see the festival grow and evolve, bringing together artists and audiences from all walks of life, joined by a shared appreciation for music, art and cultural expression.
“The continued success of Celtic Connections reflects the passion and commitment of everyone involved.
“My thanks goes to each person who bought a ticket, performed on our stages, volunteered their time, worked on or backed the event, and to the people of Glasgow who welcomed the world with open arms.
“Your support is the heartbeat of the festival, and it's your enthusiasm and dedication that make this celebration of music possible year after year.
“Scotland has a rich tapestry of musical traditions, and Celtic Connections is a platform that showcases the beauty and diversity of our own folk music, as well as that of other countries, and the expansive connections it has created.”
He added: “I am immensely proud of how well Scotland continues to champion folk music on the global stage, and feel truly excited about the path that lies ahead for what we’re proud to say has become a world-renowned event.”
Culture Minister Christina McKelvie said: “Celtic Connections always provides a brilliant start to the year and as another successful edition draws to a close I want to give my thanks to everyone who made it possible and all those who attended.
“The talent, warmth and energy that Celtic Connections always brings never fails to impress and I’m sure I’m not alone in eagerly awaiting next year’s programme.”
Glasgow Life Chair, Bailie Annette Christie, said: “Celtic Connections 2024 has been a resounding success, and a spectacular showcase of some of the very finest musical talent that Scotland, and almost every corner of the globe, has to offer across a wealth of genres.
“This year’s wonderfully expansive, exciting programme, and superb international line-up of established and emerging artists, has delighted a very broad range of audiences and attracted festival goers in their thousands.”
Alan Morrison, Head of Music at Creative Scotland said: “Powered by the energy of its artists and enthusiasm of its audiences, Celtic Connections has given Scotland’s music scene the best possible start to 2024.
“From the Opening Concert onwards, fans have sung the praises of some of the best gigs they’ve ever seen at this or any other festival.
It's heartening to see the festival grow and evolve, bringing together artists and audiences from all walks of life, joined by a shared appreciation for music, art and cultural expression.
“It’s a triumph for our own traditional music and a prime example of how connecting with artists from all over the world can brighten the darkest days.”
Among the highlights this year was the European premiere of Attention! from American Grammy winner Chris Thile.
The Red Clydeside: John MacLean Centenary Concert, celebrated the music, poetry and legacy of Scottish schoolteacher and legendary revolutionary socialist John MacLean, was an evening of passion and inimitable talent.
The Roaming Roots Review, and its theme Songs of Modern Scotland, brought together music from a who’s who of Scottish talent with the event’s curator and host Roddy Hart including Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil, Idlewild’s Roddy Woomble and Rod Jones, Del Amitri’s Justin Currie, Camera Obscura’s Tracyanne Campbell, celebrated singer-songwriter Emma Pollock, uber talented Hamish Hawk, Admiral Fallow’s Sarah Hayes and Louis Abbott and the inimitable Brownbear among other hugely talented musicians.
The night was accompanied by a Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Orchestra, arranged and conducted by John Logan.
Celtic Connections began in 1994 when it offered 66 events at one venue, and has since grown more adventurous, experimental and diverse each year.
The festival is now a core part of the city’s annual cultural events programme, delivered by charity Glasgow Life.