Celtic Connections, one of the biggest annual folk, roots and world music festivals in Scotland, is estimated to bring over £5million to the Glasgow economy this year.

The festival starts tomorrow until the 2nd of February and is estimated to bring in over £5.3million, as well as more than 38,000 visitors to the city.

In 2019, the festival welcomed a total of 38,056 unique visitors (excluding schoolchildren), and a total attendance figure for events of 113,267.

The figures, obtained by SNP MSP for Glasgow Kelvin Sandra White, also show that festival-goers stayed in the city for an average of 4 days spending up to £97 per person every day in 2019. Outside of Glasgow, Scotland enjoyed a £1 million boost in net expenditure generated by the festival.

This year, the festival aims to bring over 2,100 musicians from around the world for 18 days of concerts, ceilidhs, talks, art exhibitions, workshops, and free events in 49 venues around Glasgow.

This year’s line-up includes performances from Anais Mitchell, Bela Fleck, Salsa Celtica, the GRIT Orchestra and the much-loved Trans-Atlantic Sessions. Hotly tipped are SHHE, Rachel Sermanni, RURA and Fergus McCreadie.

Tomorrow, the Grit Orchestra will open the festival in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

An 80-piece ensemble of folk, jazz and classical music, the Grit Orchestra were originally founded to perform and celebrate the late Martyn Bennett's music.

This year, six members of the orchestra have been commissioned to create new symphonic compositions inspired by the Declaration of Arbroath ahead of its 700th anniversary in April.

Tomorrow evening will also see Glasgow's own Colonel Mustard & the Dijon 5 will play the Old Fruitmarket, as well as Archie Fisher in the Mitchell Theatre, Fat Suit will in Drygate, Gilliam Fleetwood in the Tron Theatre and Lost Map will present Pictish Trail and Rozi Plain in Saint Lukes.

The Festival also continues to the west end and south side: tomorrow night, Native Harrow will play The Hug and Pint, Wrest will play The Blue Arrow and The Rezillos will play the Oran Mor. The Glad Cafe has its first event on the 22nd of January.

SNP MSP for Glasgow Kelvin Sandra White said:

“Celtic Connections is a truly world-class event, and it’s no surprise that thousands of visitors are expected to flock to Glasgow from across the UK and the rest of the world over the next few weeks.

“The festival also offers a huge boost to Glasgow’s economy – with local businesses raking in their share of over £5 million in 2019, with the number of festival-goers set to rise even further this year.

“Visitors from across the UK, Europe and beyond will be greeted with open arms as our city comes to life for one of the biggest winter music festivals on the planet.

“We should all be proud of the rich cultural heritage Scotland has to offer, and world class festivals like Celtic Connections will continue to ensure we remain an outward-looking, welcoming nation.”