MUSICIANS from all over the world are to take part in a global stramash to celebrate the 25th birthday of Celtic Connections this January.

The annual festival, which sees just about every available stage in Glasgow taken over for a celebration of folk, world, and roots music, will partner with more than 20 organisations worldwide.

The online interactive session will feature folk musicians of all ages and playing all instruments, from venues across the UK and Ireland, France, Spain, Scandinavia, Italy, Germany, Canada, USA, India, Brazil and Malawi.

For the organisers of the festival, which will run from January 18 to February 4, getting to 25 years is a big deal.

When the festival began in 1994, organisers say “doubters” were sceptical that a festival during the dark, cold month of January – “when purse strings were pulled tighter” – would be a success.

And yet audiences have continued to flock to the city.

Last year saw more than 110,000 coming to shows, with more than 80 per cent of performances at the 18-day festival completely sold out.

Other highlights this year include one of the biggest concerts in the festival’s history, with the GRIT Orchestra taking over the SSE Hydro for a grand-scale live version of Bothy Culture, the late Martyn Bennett’s second album. Scottish stunt cyclist Danny MacAskill is set to pull a wheelie or two.

In a unique world premiere, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and guests including Julie Fowlis, Kathleen MacInnes and Karen Matheson will present a night of symphonic arrangements of Gaelic repertoire under the title of Òrain nan Gàidheal: Songs of the Gael.

There are also plans to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the community buyout of the Isle of Eigg, with a ceilidh featuring locals Pictish Trail,?Dàimh,?Ja’Ma’Tha Ceilidh Band,?Massacre Cave?and?DJ Dolphin Boy.

One of the most poignant nights of the whole festival will be the celebration of the bard of Lochee, the late great Michael Marra, with friends and fans paying tribute to the Dundee singer-songwriter.

Festival favourites including Kate Rusby, Martin Carthy, Skerryvore, Lau, Eddi Reader, Kris Drever, Ross Ainslie. and Blazin Fiddles – who are celebrating their 20th anniversary – are all set to appear.

Donald Shaw, the artistic director, promised audiences would be treated to “performances from some of the best artists from across the world”.

Tickets go on sale at 10am today.