Vikings march through Glasgow for opening of Celtic Connections

Shetland Vikings lit up the Celtic Connections opening weekend as they welcomed audiences to the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall with flaming torches, cheers and songs celebrating Up Helly Aa.

This year’s festival sees the return of live in-person performances after restrictions were eased.

Read More

Read More
Celtic Connections to stage more than 60 live gigs after crowd curbs are lifted

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Full-capacity shows will be staged across 14 days in venues around the city after the Scottish Government confirmed the easing of measures introduced on Boxing to try to halt the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid.

Shetland Vikings light up the Celtic Connections opening weekend as they welcome audiences to the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall with flaming torches, cheers and songs celebrating Up Helly Aa.

Karine Polwart, Julie Fowlis, Kathryn Joseph, Iona Fyfe, Rachel Newton, Bruce MacGregor, Ross Couper, Karen Matheson and Dean Owens are among the leading Scottish musicians due to appear before live audiences.

Other confirmed acts include Norman Blake, Bernard Butler, James Grant, Monica Queen, Esther Swift, Blue Rose Code, Sharon Shannon, Adam Holmes, Jill Jackson, Hannah Rarity and Adam Sutherland.

Shows by Manran, Talisk, Rura, Sian, Heisk, Gnoss, Old Blind Dogs, The Tinderbox Orchestra, Moxie, The Chair and the Kinnaris Quintet will all be going ahead.

Organisers have announced the revamped line-up for live shows after being forced to cancel much of the planned programme, particularly over the first four days of the festival.

An official announcement from Celtic Connections on the shows going ahead was issued hours after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed the lifting of the Omicron restrictions on Monday.

The festival said: “We warmly welcome confirmation that live indoor performances can proceed without the capacity limits in Scotland from 24 January.

"We have more than 60 shows still programmed between then and 6 February which we cannot wait to stage.

“These exciting and eclectic performances are going to be truly unforgettable and are made all the more special given the recent uncertainty.

“Tickets for these in-person shows are on sale now and we would encourage everyone who is able to support the festival to join us over the next three weeks for some magical live music once again.

"The safety of audiences, artists and suppliers is central to all of our plans and we are continually working with the Scottish Government and venues to ensure we put all necessary public health measures in place.

“We can also now confirm festival passes for our digital programme will be on sale from 21 January.

“Priced at £25, a digital ticket will give people access to at least 12 hours of exclusive filmed

live content from across the festival for a three-week period starting on 26th January.

"More detail about artists included in the online programme will be revealed when tickets go on sale.

“We also look forward to staging the first of our live filmed sessions at Glasgow’s RoyalConcert Hall this Thursday as our opening night concert, ‘Neath the Gloamin’ Star, comes to life in front of an intimate audience of 200 people.”