Line-Up Additions to Celtic Connections’ Trad Music Fest ‘Big Top’ in Isle of Skye

Celtic Connections announced additions to the lineup of Big Top in Broadford, Isle of Skye to be held from 23rd – 24th March 2012.

As the culmination to the Year of Scotland’s Islands, Celtic Connections Big Top will feature a top line-up of traditional music, action-packed workshops, and the showcasing of local talent alongside top international artists.

Scottish songstress Karen Matheson, of Capercaillie fame, will be making a special guest appearance with the Celtic supergroup Dàimh. Karen Matheson was described by Sean Connery as having “a throat surely touched by the hand of God.”

Celtic Connections announced that Skye favourites Niteworks will be gracing the Big Top stage on the Saturday night. Niteworks have an array of influences from Shooglenifty and the Peatbog Fairies to Apparat and Kollektiv. They reflect their Skye heritage in live Gaelic vocals, pipes and whistles, while drawing on the dynamic electronic music scene of their adopted Glasgow. Niteworks are spearheading today’s new wave of Celtic dance floor sounds.

The Civil Wars are going to be at the top of their game when they hit the Celtic Connections Big Top stage on Saturday 24th March as it is the last night of their sold out UK leg of their world tour. The Civil Wars enjoyed great success at this year’s Grammy awards where they won Best Folk Album and Best Country Duo/Group Performance.

Fèis Rois are running four different workshops on Saturday 24th March at The Broadford Hotel, Torrin Road, Broadford, Isle of Skye, IV49 9AB. The workshops are as following:

Fiddle workshop (intermediate +) 10am – 11.30am
Small and Border Pipes (intermediate +) 12noon – 1.30pm
Gaelic song workshop (open to all) 2pm – 3.30pm
Group music making (a mixed instrument workshop for intermediate + players) 4pm – 5.30pm

Places can be reserved by phoning Fèis Rois on 01349 86 2600 or e-mailing

Fèis Rois have also joined the bill for Saturday 24th March. Fèis Rois has taught thousands of budding singers and instrumentalists at their fantastic workshops. Many Celtic Connections performers have also been taught by the Fèis so this will be a great chance to spot their successors on this very talented bill.

Also playing are Raul Malo, Rosanne Cash, The Civil Wars, Michael McGoldrick Band, Dàimh, The Deadly Gentlemen, Aoife O’Donovan (Crooked Still), Mànran and Fèis Rois with more special guests still to be confirmed.

Celtic Connections Big Top also announced that they will be running a return bus service between Portree, Broadford, Kyle of Lochalsh, Kyleakin and the venue at Broadford airfield. For further information on this exclusive bus service visit the website at or phone the box office on 0141 353 8000.

Donald Shaw, Celtic Connections Artistic Director, said: “We are delighted to be announcing these brilliant new artists for Celtic Connections Big Top. Karen Matheson special guesting with Dàimh promises to be a brilliant performance and after their sell out gig at this year’s Celtic Connections we are very pleased to be welcoming local boys Niteworks to the Celtic Connections Big Top stage. The workshop element is great as this will ensure that everyone who wants to be involved can be.

The Celtic Connections team are very proud to be bringing this extensive and exciting line-up to the Isle of Skye in less than two weeks’ time! The two night event definitely promises to be a weekend to remember with an array of fantastic music, engaging and motivating workshops and a new and exciting venue!”

Murdo Mackay, a project leader for the Year of Scotland’s Islands and Western Isles Council, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar said: “It’s great to see an ever-growing number of new artists being announced as part of the Celtic Connections Big Top event, which is sure to attract new audiences as well as loyal folk and world music fans to Skye later this month.

“The Big Top is the perfect finale to The Year of Scotland’s Islands, which has had over 500 fantastic events take place across 42 islands since its launch last April. The Year of Scotland’s Islands has showcased and celebrated the music, arts, food and history of the islands as well as highlighting their unique beauty as visitor destinations too. The Big Top captures this spirit perfectly.”

Svend Brown, Director of Music at Glasgow Life, said: “Celtic Connections brings people from all over the world to Glasgow to celebrate and enjoy the finest performances with a Celtic theme. The Celtic Connections Big Top will allow many more people the chance to enjoy and take part in some amazing performances and workshops. Taking one of Glasgow’s best festivals to an island with a rich musical heritage is a sign of the city’s ambition to play a growing part in delivering world-class culture across Scotland and beyond.”

Tickets are available online at or you can contact the box office 0141 353 8000 priced at £40 for a full access, weekend ticket, or £25 for a day ticket.

Bus tickets are also available online at or you can contact the box office on 0141 353 8000 tickets are priced at £5 return and bus stops will be at Kyle of Lochalsh, Kyleakin, Broadford and Portree.

Further info can be found at:

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.


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