Celtic Connections is celebrating its most successful year to date as the festival came to on Sunday night, 2 February, as attendances reached over 110,000 and gross ticket sales topped £1.15million, Celtic Connections 2014 really was the biggest and best yet.
The middle weekend saw a record number of people attending the festival – on Friday 24 January 2014 just fewer than 14,500 people attended a Celtic Connections show, while Saturday 25 January saw 10,500 seats filled at the festival – this tallies to 25,000 attendances within 48 hours.
Over 18 days in January and February, some 2,000 artists from around the globe descended on Glasgow. Highlights of Celtic Connections 2014 included two of the festival’s gigs taking place at Scotland’s new landmark arena, the SSE Hydro.
Del Amitri took to the stage of the Hydro on Friday 24 January 2014 and blew away the biggest crowd Celtic Connections has seen to date. The night after festival fans were treated to an International Burns Night again at the Hydro with a stellar line-up including The Mahotella Queens, Karine Polwart, Dougie MacLean, Rachel Sermanni and Salsa Celtica. The Royal Scottish National Orchestra were in residence for the night. There was also a very special tribute to Seamus Heaney by John Spillane and Bongani Tembe paid a moving tribute to Nelson Mandela.
Music fans attended approximately 300 concerts, ceilidhs, talks, free events, late night sessions and workshops, which took place in nearly 20 venues across Glasgow over 18 days in January. Pictured left is the performance at St Andrew’s in the Square on 25 January of Feis Rois, the UK’s leading traditional music education projects and Tolka from the National Celtic Festival in Australia.
Celtic Music Radio recorded this concert for future transmission.
The festival is renowned for its ambitious programme of one-off shows, world exclusive performances and unique collaborative events.
The 2014 line-up explored the connections between Celtic music and cultures across the globe, bringing musicians from all over the world to Glasgow with acts from as far afield as Australia, India, South Africa, Mali, Malawi, Cuba and Jamaica as well as across Europe, the USA and Canada.
Celtic Connections continues to have an international appeal and enhance Glasgow’s reputation as a major tourist destination.
Fans visited from all corners of the globe to experience the best in traditional, folk, roots, world and indie music. In 2013 Celtic Connections saw an increase in visitors from outwith Scotland, with 14.6% of the audience visiting from the rest of the UK and 4% coming from overseas.
44% of festival fans accompanied their visit to Celtic Connections with an overnight stay, a few stayed with friends but the majority at 69% stayed in a hotel or guest house or B&B.
An impressive 70% of visitors stated that attending Celtic Connections was their sole or main reason for visiting Glasgow and 77% said they had also attended Celtic Connections in 2012. A fantastic 99.8% said they would come back to the festival in the future. Festival fans attended an average of 4.7 events.
The middle weekend of Celtic Connections also featured a major showcase of Scottish music, with 214 international music industry delegates from over 29 countries in town to sample the cream of Scottish musical talent performing as part of Showcase Scotland at Celtic Connections.
The largest gathering of the international music community in Scotland, Showcase Scotland provides acts with the opportunity to perform in front of promoters, record labels and agents from countries all over the world. The exposure that artists gain can lead to record deals and overseas touring contracts, promoting Scottish music and artists to new audiences around the world.
Every year at Celtic Connections the cream of new musical talent perform at the Danny Kyle Open Stage. A diverse panel of judges – from industry stalwarts to members of the general public – then picked six winners from the eighty acts which took part.
The Danny Kyle Open Stage 2014 winners, all of whom will perform a support slot at Celtic Connections 2015 festival are: Hò Rò, Griogair Morrison, The Mischa Macpherson Trio, The Chaplins (pictured left), Arthur Nicholson and Austen George.
Celtic Music Radio broadcast live from the Adelaide’s venue at 209 Bath Street in Glasgow city centre daily from 10.00am until 6.00pm (except Sundays) from Friday 17 January until Saturday 1 February 2014 with transmissions on DAB digital radio, online and on all apps and mobile devices and around Glasgow on 1530AM. Over 45 volunteers were involved in the broadcasts and recording of concerts
Celtic Music Radio had one of its best month’s for online listening with hits to Listen Live sessions reaching 240,485 (+19% on last year/January 2013) from 58,408 unique users (+49%). There was also good feedback from listeners on DAB digital radio around the country.
A DAB radio listener in Cambridge commented: “I am listening via Pop Up digital radio. I’ve been able to hear you here in cold flat foggy Cambridge. Thanks for brightening up my days the last two weeks during Celtic Connections.”
The Celtic Music Radio team were at Celtic Connections concerts and you can read their Reviews here or click on the tab at the top of this page marked Concert Reviews. The reviews are also published in the Celtic Music Radio e-Newsletter.
Celtic Music Radio also recorded several concerts at Celtic Connections 2014 and these will be broadcast later as specials at holiday weekends and as part of a Celtic Connections series.
Celtic Music Radio is your Celtic Connections radio station all year round.