Glasgow, Scotland – Celtic Connections organizers report that the 2007 festival has enjoyed an extremely successful fourteenth year with new Artistic Consultant Donald Shaw and new principal sponsor ScottishPower.
Festival organizers succeeded in creating a more ambitious program for this year’s event, which featured more international artists than ever before. The festival connected with a wide range of musical genres, including classical, world music and jazz, with concerts such as Scotland’s Music Live with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Real World and L’Occidentale de Fanfare.One-off concerts at this year’s festival included the live stage premiere of BBC Radio 2’s Radio Ballads and opening concert Hands Across the Water – the first and only live realization of the tsunami benefit album of the same name, which brought together an array of Celtic and Americana talent.
Festival fans attended 300 concerts, ceilidhs, talks, free events, late night sessions and workshops, which took place at 12 venues across Glasgow over 19 days in January and February. New venues for Celtic Connections 2007 included Classic Grand, ABC, and St Andrews in the Square.
With a 30% increase on ticket sales from last year, Celtic Connections 2007 also sold out twice as many shows as last year. Sold out shows included Mary Chapin Carpenter, Kate Rusby with Roddy Woomble, John Martyn: Solid Air, Eddi Reader and Friends, Seth Lakeman and Karine Polwart, McCalmans and Friends, Na h-Oganaich, James Grant, Justin Currie , Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan, Idlewild, Salsa Celtica, Peatbog Faeries, Spirit, Salm and Sacred Song, Tiree Night, Banjo Night and Malinky.
The Celtic Connections Education Programme also enjoyed a successful festival, with 15,000 school children benefiting from a series of 10 school concerts in The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall’s Main Auditorium. Well established bands such as Session A9, The McDades and the Peatbog Faeries played to audiences of excited school children from all over Scotland, many of whom experienced live music for the first time at Celtic Connections.
Celtic Connections 2007 marked a successful first year of a new principal sponsorship by international energy company ScottishPower, who are sponsoring the festival to the tune of £210,000 over three years. ScottishPower have been actively involved Celtic Connections 2007 throughout the past nineteen days, with the ScottishPower Pipe Band taking part in the opening torchlit procession which launched Celtic Connections 2007.
Celtic Connections continues to attract visitors from all over the world, expanding the international profile of the city as a tourist destination and affirming Glasgow’s place on the cultural map. Celtic Connections will examine the economic impact of this year’s festival thanks to a £15, 000 grant from EventScotland, Scotland’s national organization for sports and cultural events, which was awarded to the festival for a significant market research study. The study will also research areas of potential growth for the future.
Next year sees the festival enter into its fifteenth year, with Celtic Connections 2008 running from Wednesday 16th January – Sunday 3rd February 2008.