Ireland will be the international partner for Celtic Connections in the festival’s 25th anniversary year, 2018.
Celtic Connections is one of the leading annual festivals of world, folk and roots music and sees more than 2,000 musicians from across the globe take part in 300 events at 20 Glasgow venues over 18 days.
Each year, Celtic Connections partners with a country to help create new international links and advance opportunities for their musicians.
For 2018, Ireland is the selected country and Celtic Connections is working in partnership with Culture Ireland to present both leading and emerging Irish artists at the festival.
In 2018 Irish bands will perform at the leading music industry event taking place during the festival, Showcase Scotland, providing opportunities for these musicians to gain exposure in front of attending promoters, festival directors and record label representatives.
Details of the Irish music stars selected to perform in 2018 will be announced as part of the Celtic Connections program announcement in autumn 2017.
The new partnership builds on the richest of traditions, which has seen an incredible range of Irish musicians take to the Celtic Connections stages since the festival started in 1994. From the Chieftains (who starred in the first Celtic Connections), to Van Morrison, Clannad, and Clare born accordionist, fiddler and whistle player Sharon Shannon - whose concert closed that inaugural festival and who is among the Irish artists playing at Celtic Connections 2017.
This year’s festival, which runs until Sunday 5 February, is packed with Irish musicians including Altan, Dervish, Beoga, Damien Dempsey, The Bonnymen and Four Men and a Dog.
Heather Humphreys, T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, said: “I am delighted that Ireland has been selected as the partner country at Celtic Connections in 2018. Irish musicians have enjoyed a strong relationship with Celtic Connections throughout its 25 year history, so it is fitting that the 2018 festival will place a special spotlight on Ireland and Irish culture, providing a wonderful opportunity for Irish artists. It will afford Irish musicians a platform to play not only for the large audiences at Celtic Connections, but also to reach worldwide presenters and gain further opportunities to perform globally.”