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There’s always something to celebrate in Glasgow. Whether it’s traditional music from around the world at Celtic Connections ( www.celticconnections.com ) every January or every kind of music at June’s West End Festival, there are Glaswegians out enjoying it. The West End Festival takes over venues, streets and any other space available, as Glaswegians take advantage of the start of summer. Tickets for some Celtic Connection concerts sell out within minutes of the schedule being released, as folk and trad luminaries from Altan to Carlos Nunez take the stage. Other highlights include the Glasgow Film Festival ( www.glasgowfilmfestival.org.uk ) and November’s festival of light, Radiance ( www.radianceglasgow.com ), heading for its second year in 2006.
Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet and the Scottish National Orchestra all call Glasgow home, and an impressive number of galleries and theaters present shows and performances year-round. The Citizen’s Theatre, in the formerly notorious Gorbals area, and the CCA Theatre/ Café/ Bar (Centre for Contemporary Arts, 350 Sauchiehall Street; www.cca-glasgow.com ) win particular acclaim. These days Glasgow’s alternative music scene is all the rage. Britain’s most exciting bands, Snow Patrol, Belle and Sebastian, Franz Ferdinand, Dogs Die in Hot Cars and dozens of others, are all based in the city and live music venues are excellent. Whether you want to catch a band with their name already in lights at the Barrowland or take a chance on an unknown at the site of Oasis’ discovery, King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, there’s somebody tuning up every night.