ARTISTS, writers, and singers have been vocal in the Scottish independence debate - but an attempt to discover the views of the thousands of performers at the Celtic Connections festival has failed to produce a result.

At the beginning of this year's festival, which runs in Glasgow until February 2, the director of the event, Donald Shaw, announced they would be trying to gauge the views of performing artists by asking them to comment on the prospect of Scottish independence in a "big book" which could be filled in and around concerts.

However, the festival has revealed that many musicians at the popular festival chose not to take part, and those who did, did not want their views to be made public.

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It was hoped that the big book would be an informal but interesting barometer of political opinion at the festival and its 2100 performers.

But the results of the exercise will now not be revealed.

At the time, Mr Shaw, who said he is in favour of Scottish independence, said: "I really think there is an ­appetite for discussion and there has always been a tradition in Glasgow of people speaking out, particularly politically in folk music, there is that tradition of the city expressing itself in that way.

"I don't think we should, as a festival, shy away from debating it and in fact that's a good thing."

However, last night a spokeswoman for Celtic Connections confirmed that the "big book" would no longer go ahead.

She added: "A number of musicians we approached to take part chose not to and a number who did specified that they would prefer their opinions not to be released.

"Celtic Connection has a small team running a very big festival - there has not been the capacity nor resource to seek the opinion of over 2000 artists across 18 venues.

"As a result, any opinions expressed would not be a wholly representative view of the body of artists appearing at the festival."

She added: "While politics and music often collide, our priority has been to stage world-class shows for both artists and the public."