Danny Kyle Open Stage line-up for Celtic Connections is revealed
Coordinator Liz Clark reveals details of the soloists and bands competing at the showcase over the course of 12 days at Adelaides.
"Hearing the artists of tomorrow, today" is how Liz Clark describes the Danny Kyle Open Stage.
And it’s an attitude that certainly rings true. The stage has provided a launch pad for participants including Karine Polwart, The Chair, Breabach and Dochas during its time at the Celtic Connections festival.
With the first showcase kicking off on Saturday, January 19, 150 entries have now been narrowed down to 60 spots, with soloists and groups set to take to the stage over 12 days at Adelaides.
This year the renovation of the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall has forced the stage to move elsewhere and in turn reduced the number of opportunities for performers, but Liz says it has also made the competition even tougher.
She explained: "The wealth of talent entering the competition from all over the world is extraordinary. We’ve actually had people travelling over to compete from Australia and someone travelling over from America with a giant harp
"For a lot of people this could be their first time performing on a full stage with a sound system. Quite often it’s the biggest audience they’ve played to.
"We’ve had to cut the numbers down by 15 this year so that makes a spot even more precious."
Named after the legendary Paisley folk musician the stage continues to celebrate Danny’s ethos, of finding new talent.
The sessions will run between 4pm and 6pm each day, with the music streaming out live each day on Celtic Music Radio.
The 12 days of performances will culminate in a concert on Saturday, February 2 where the final six will battle it out to be crowned the overall Danny Kyle winner.
Liz said: "It’s thanks to the support of Danny’s children that we’re able to continue the event in his name.
"He hated competition so the way we do it is to emphasise that everyone that makes it on to the stage is a winner.
"The six finalists get supporting slots at the festival the next year. It’s lovely when you see people like Rory Butler, who won the Danny Kyle stage last year, go from strength to strength."
The Danny Kyle Open Stage kicks off on January 19 with the Amy Papiransky Group, Orkney duo Halina and Aidan, The Deadly Winters, Amy Baillie and Matt Tighe.
The six winners will perform in ticketed showcase concert on Saturday, February 2. For more information go to the Celtic Connections website.
Check out all of STV’s Celtic Connections coverage.