September 30, 2012

2013 World’s set for Aug 17-18

More than 40,000 people were said to have attended the 2012 World Pipe Band Championships, and with 11 months to go before the revamped two-day 2013 World’s, the RSPBA has revealed that the event will be on August 17 and 18.

pipes|drums had been contacted by bands all over the world trying to plan their trip to Glasgow, only to be told by the RSPBA to wait and see. Most non-Scottish bands would have reserved accommodation by this point, and many pipers and drummers will have earmarked vacation dates.

With the event moving to a two-day format, more Canadian, US and Australasian bands are expected to make the trip, especially those in the higher grades since the RSPBA has hinted that all bands will have to qualify on the day, doing away with the pre-qualification system that has been used for the last 12 years.

For the first time in recent memory, no Australian or New Zealand Grade 1 bands competed at the 2012 World Championships, with speculation that they elected to save for 2013 and the opportunity to compete head-to-head with bands that would previously have pre-qualified.

The actual format and playing requirements for the two-day event have not been revealed. As with travel arrangements, bands at this stage would have already started the process of planning musical content. The Grade 1 World Championship in the past has  called for an “own-choice” medley, and jurisdictions like the British Columbia Pipers Association’s rules call for bands in that grade to submit only one medley when both events are offered.

“It’s frustrating really, and you would think that the . . . format for such an important event would be confirmed by now,” said the pipe-major of one non-UK Grade 1 pipe band who commented on condition of anonymity. “After the publicity regarding the new format at this year’s World’s it’s now turned into a bit of a mystery.”

With at least the potential of competing on both days, bands must decide whether or not to book travel,

accommodation and personal vacation time to include the Sunday and Monday.

The North American Pipe Band Championships at Maxville consciously has tried to reflect the World’s requirement, with a format of submit two MSRs and a medley-of-choice for respective Grade 1 events.


  1. the rspba should have decided what grades are playing on each day before saying its going to be a 2-day worlds

  2. The BCPA has a requirement for Grade 1 bands to have two Medleys and two MSRs. The same format as the Worlds and Maxville applies to the BCPA competitions in that when there are both Medley and MSR events at one competition, bands can play the medley of their own choice. At competitions that only offer a Medley event, two medleys are required to be submitted. Most competitions on the BCPA circuit has Grade 1 bands compete in both MSR and Medley. For Grade 1 bands wishing to compete at Seattle in 2013, rumors has it that Grade 1 will play MSR and Medley on Saturday, then play your other MSR and other Medley on Sunday. Boney

  3. Where do these ridiculous claims of 40,000-plus patrons keep coming from..???? If there are even 20,000 there, even on a good year, I’ll eat my hat. Someone’s having a lend, methinks. I’ve attended many music festivals at a venue about the same size as Glasgow Green, with multiple stages located throughout – much like the worlds. On a good day, 25,000 are there (official) and you simply cannot move. It’s like a sardine can! The proposed two-day event is for nothing but more money. It’s another day of gate-takings for the promoter and another day for vendors to sell their overpriced third-world food and warm beer. Simple as that. People need to accept, nor should they be surprised, that the bigger this thing gets, the more stakeholders get involved and the further down the list goes the bands. Bands are slowly but surely becoming a ‘product’. The only way to register disapproval is to boycott. And we all know that’s like pi**ing in the wind. Personally, I don’t care whether it’s one or two days, just so long as it’s the same for everyone (which it is).

  4. Well there goes my attendance, the wedding was booked well in advance to be the week after the normal worlds date….now they have moved it back. I get the feeling its like the lunatics running the asylum.

  5. bagpipermann if you looked properly at my comment i said on the piping live leaflet ( which is handed out at george square, piping centre and other places) NOT THE PIPING LIVE WEBSITE!

  6. Not sure about the comment about the NZ/Oz bands not attending becuase of fairer comp next year. i.e. when exactly was the 2 day event announced, I thought it was only official at the Worlds this year??

  7. could open up lorient festival (2nd to 11th of aug 2013)for one of the bigger bands that shy away from it due to the scheduling clash of the worlds, no way piping live would go on a week before, nobody is that stupid.

  8. Lawrie – are you serious? Boycott? It’s two days to spread the load on judging, and to incorporate a bigger grade 1 contest. Some folk just love to moan. And why should the RSPBA say what grades are what day just now? Really, what difference does it make in September, 11 months before the event?

  9. suvfifer – not sure you read and understood my post. No, I’m not serious. I was being facetious about boycotts – highlighting the futility of bands taking issue with anything. Why take note of what bands think anyway? I mean, they’re only the paid-up members of the Association. I also stated that I don’t care if it’s one or two days. I’ll be there, playing in Gr1. So long as my pipes behave, I couldn’t care what’s happening around me, or what day it is. 😉

  10. …….and yes, suvfifer, of course it’s all about looking after that tiny little portion of officials there on the day, who’ve all coped very well with the schedule up until now (and also prior to the introduction of the qualifier), and it couldn’t possibly be at all linked with the huge number of financial stakeholders who jump up and down behind the scenes about all the effort they have to put in for ‘only one day’, and who stand to benefit directly from an extra days trade that will also go towards helping to underwrite more expenses for the promoters in the process……it couldn’t possibly be about all those things…….surely…? Believe that and you’ll believe anything. The fact the RSPBA hasn’t even been able to confirm the actual contest format is the biggest giveaway that the bands haven’t even been considered yet, much less consulted. The rush to announce an extra day has been ALL ABOUT satisfying the stakeholders and securing their buy-in. The RSPBA will now muddle through and worry about the bands later. The bands don’t matter as much and will do what they’re told, as is expected and as is the case. Until bands form a collective and push their case, the RSPBA will just continue to do what it likes with its centrepiece event. We can’t blame them if bands just roll with it in total apathy, and only whinge in anonymity on forums like this.

  11. Lawrie – I’m pretty sure that a couple of years ago, the RSPBA did a poll around its members to ask about the future of the Worlds. And I believe it came back strongly in favour of a two-day event. So, it did consult its members. And unless you’ve been in a cave for the past 18 months, then a 2-day event was always mooted, and comes as no surprise. Contest format will be half the grades on day, half the other, with grade 1 qualifying on Saturday and final on Sunday. Just watch and see. Hope your pipes stay dry 😉

  12. Oh my god Lawrie – have a word with yourself buddy. This is surely a great thing having a 2 day event. Anyway, all this talk of format, did noone buy a programme at the 2011 event, one of the pages near the back detailed the 2 days. I still have it in the house somewhere

  13. Hook, line and sinker. No one has yet picked up on the fact that I’m indifferent to the whole one versus two day debate. It matters not. The reality is this is a commercial decision. Period. It’s a typical case of ‘announce and defend’.

  14. ‘The format was on one of the pages of the 2011 programme.’ Are you saying that a crumpled piece of paper was the official way of announcing such a dramatic change and is the document bands will use to plan their programme and travel arrangements? As a non-band member I am enjoying the recent posts to all sorts of subjects. They swing from the serious and considered to the well, to put it nicely, bizarre.

  15. Sorry I meant 2012 programme obviously. So I dug it out and it is posted in there, it’s a dedicated page called WPBC TWO DAY EVENT 2013. In there it states Grade 1 requirements are 2 x MSR and 2 x Medley the heats will be Sat and be 1 x MSR and 1 x Medley and Sunday is a 12 band Final playing the alternate MSR and alternate Medley. Every other event is completed on one day or the other. Grade 2 (Sat, Heats Medley and Final MSR) / Grade 3A (Sun) / Grade 3B (Sat) / Juv (Sun) / 4A (Sat) / 4B (Sun) and Novice (Sun) It also states this is the PROPOSED programme and playing requirements assuming the RSPBA are still tweaking it before making an announcement but this was published in the 2012 Worlds Programme.

  16. Thanks for correcting the date. However the question still needs asked and answered – is this an appropriate way to communicate such an important issue? What does ‘proposed’ mean as you also suggest ‘tweaks’ are being made. I don’t have my copy of the programme – was the change of weekend mentioned? In which case a vital piece of information was missing. The comments on the ‘Piping Live’ issue make my point regarding communication. The leaflet says one thing, but the website another.

  17. Proposed I assume means just that. Still being tweaked means it’s probably not ready for an official announcement yet.

  18. As of last week we heard from two bands that said they were told by the RSPBA that the final format was not known. The RSPBA did not respond to our inquiries. Comments are now closed.

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