CELTIC Connections’ BBC Scotland coverage has been limited to a single Saturday night 45-minute slot at 11pm.

The festival, which attracted 130,000 attendees in 2020, is in full swing and will welcome more than 2100 musicians from around the world to Glasgow over its 18-day duration.

While BBC Alba’s coverage of the event is due to start on Friday and carry on through the weekend, its presence on BBC Scotland has been conspicuously light. This is particularly apparent when compared to its daily coverage of TRNSMT festival, which was also hosted in Glasgow.

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The National: Celtic Connections is the UK's premier celebration of Celtic music. Celtic Connections is the UK's premier celebration of Celtic music.

Last year’s Celtic Connections was forced to be an entirely livestreamed event due to Covid-19 restrictions but still managed to reach an audience of more than 100,000 people across 65 countries.

As restrictions have begun to ease, there is now an opportunity for musicians to get back playing in front of crowds after an extremely difficult time for the industry.

Welsh musician Robin Jones of The Trials of Cato gave his perspective on the opportunity offered by the festival for musicians coming out of lockdown.

He said: “The pandemic was a terrible event for everyone, we had a lot of gigs cancelled. 

“[Celtic Connections] is very supportive as an event, it’s not like an ordinary festival … They look after you really well.”

He also touched upon the value of having the spotlight shone upon traditional music: “It’s important, not just for the musicians but for the traditions that are being represented. This year the focus of the festival is on Wales and it’s a great opportunity to put the spotlight on contemporary Welsh folk music. It’s not often we get the spotlight … an event like this is of real benefit to us.”

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A BBC spokesperson said: “We have a long-standing commitment to bring our audiences the best of Celtic Connections from across a broad range of BBC platforms including the BBC Scotland channel, BBC Alba, BBC Radio Scotland, and BBC Radio nan Gàidheal. Each year we provide unrivalled coverage of this prestigious festival and for the 2022 event we are again showcasing a great range of content.

"On the BBC Scotland channel, in addition to BBC Introducing at Celtic Connections which was designed to give new musicians a platform, there’ll also be a live music programme of The Quay Sessions at Celtic Connections which will be broadcast this Saturday.

"This Sunday’s final of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year is one example of working together as the show will be broadcast live on television on BBC Alba as well as on radio.

"Audiences who miss the content first time round will also be able to enjoy them on iPlayer and BBC Sounds following the festival."