Glasgow’s Folk Extravaganza

Hoolie in the Hydro, Phil Cunningham’s Christmas Songbook and Celtic Connections. Can Glasgow love Folk Music more?

What’s not to love about traditional Scottish music, Gaelic music, Celtic music, Folk Music? It’s always been around, but I remember the days where you only heard traditional ballads, reels, rolled out at Hogmanay and for Burn’s Night. I even remember Thingummyjig on STV. Sydney Devine, Lena Martel and Andy Stewart…that was it.

Thankfully now the full beauty and pride that is traditional Scottish music is celebrated and not confined to that which belts out The Tartan Tammie shops on The Royal Mile. To that end there are some monumentally fine events celebrating folk in the next few months.

The Headliners

Kicking things off and LITERALLY that energetic is Hoolie in the Hydro. Featuring an all star line up from the Scottish music scene, the inaugural event was just last year. But such was its success that it returns to The Hydro with members of Runrig, Wolfestone and Capercaillie all taking to the stage, it’s the best of Scottish music under one roof. What started as an idea on Facebook by Hoolie in the Hydro organiser, broadcaster and musician Gary Innes is now a reality. Having 20,000 likes on his FB page, he jokingly suggested that if even half of those people bought a ticket, the world’s biggest ceilidh would be created. Thus Hoolie in the Hydro was borne. The event takes place on Saturday 9th Dec.

Next up is the fantastically Festive tradition that is Phil Cunningham’s Christmas Songbook. Returning to the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on the 19th Dec, the line up includes Eddi Reader, Karen Matheson, John McCusker, Kris Drever, Ian Carr and Kevin McGuire. With a mix of modern and traditional Christmas music, there’s always many a funny anecdote thrown in during this heartwarming annual show.

Phil says ‘We’re raring to get back on the road and bring the Christmas Songbook to Glasgow this year. The show has grown a lot over the past 17 years and has become part of people’s festive traditions which is a total honour, and it’s always lovely to see some familiar faces in the audience as well as some new ones, who are always very welcome.’ A truly unique, luscious Christmas staple.

glasgow folk music

Start Looking at the Programme NOW

And Finally to January and, of course, the behemoth that is Celtic Connections. It’s the sovereign of folk, roots and world music and it lands in Glasgow on Thursday 18th January. It’s a massive programme of events covering traditional Celtic music, Latin, Americana, jazz and blues, to name but a few.

One of the highlights of this year’s festival? The return of The Bothy Band, one of the most influential bands in Celtic music history. All legendary figures in Irish music, the band have not played a major gig together in 40 years. But last year, they made a documentary, retelling their five year monumental rise and their story since then. The band enjoyed being together and making the documentary. So it was a little difficult to turn down the chance of playing Celtic Connections when the invitation was extended. The band will play The Royal Concert Hall on 22nd January, their first public concert since 1979. Possibly a once in a lifetime event guys.

So Scottish folk, traditional, Gaelic, Celtic. Whatever ye cry it. It’s come a long way since Thingummyjig.

glasgow folk music

Tickets for Hoolie in the Hydro can be purchased Here

For Phil Cunningham’s Christmas Songbook can be purchased Here

Tickets and programme for Celtic Connections can be viewed Here

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