Lighting Up Winter With Music in Glasgow, Scotland
Celtic Connections begins with the skirl of highland pipes slicing the January night in a torch-lit parade up Buchanan street and winds down three weeks later with a concert that feels like a back porch session with really talented friends. In between, there are half a dozen gigs each night, ranging from quiet singer-songwriter performances to dance-crazed fiddle frenzy. Top international artists such as Eddi Reader, Tim O'Brien, and Youssou N Dour often headline the festival. In-the-know music aficionados vie for tickets to the after-hours festival club, where anyone might turn up to play, and stand in line for a free spot every afternoon to hear up-an-coming groups compete for opening act slots in future festivals.