Celtic Connections launches 'hybrid' online music festival

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The organisers of Celtic Connections have launched a "hybrid" online version of the musical festival after shows had to be cancelled due to Covid restrictions on crowds.

Performances will now be shown online with some screened to smaller audiences at Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall.

A small number of larger-scale shows will be rescheduled until later in the year.

Last year's festival was also forced to go ahead online due to the pandemic.

Covid restrictions in Scotland currently mean that no more than 200 people are allowed at indoor seated events.

That rule is expected to be lifted in the weeks ahead, but would not come in time for the start of the 18-day programme on Thursday 20 January.

More than 1,000 musicians were due to take part in the event, which spans traditional folk, roots, Americana, jazz, soul and world music.

A new programme including artist line-up and ticketing information will be published next week.

A statement from the Celtic Connections organisers said: "Although the festival has not been able to return on the scale initially planned, and the majority of programmed shows have been impacted in some way, we are still working extremely hard to stage as many performances as we can in 2022.

"We are continuing to engage with the Scottish government regarding in-person shows due to take place from 24th January onwards and will be able to confirm our approach in line with any ongoing restrictions following the first minister's update next week."

During the last "live" festival in January 2020, about 130,000 people attended more than 300 events. Organisers said more than 2,100 artists from around the world had taken part.

Celtic Connections was first held in 1994 and is considered to be one of Europe's top winter music festivals.