April 30, 2007

Northern Meeting hikes competitor’s entry fee to ?40

If a competitor is lucky and talented enough to get past the Northern Meeting‘s rigorous application and review process, there’s now £40 that must be included with his or her entry form for what many consider the world’s premier solo piping contest.

About 100 competitors are allowed to compete at the Northern Meeting, with caps of 30 on each of the Gold Medal and Silver Medal piobaireachd competitions.

Competitors in the Clasp and Silver Star Former Winners March, Strathspey & Reel events earn their place by holding a Gold Medal or having won the A-Grade MSR at the Northern Meeting, respectively.

“After extensive discussions on the level of entry fees for the competitors, the Committee believes that £40 is an appropriate figure for the Northern Meeting piping competition,” said Alison Harbison, piping convener for the Northern Meeting. “Success at this competition is every piper’s aspiration and a platform for renown in the world of piping. We engage the most prominent judges in piping and promote the competition in the most comfortable of surroundings for preparation and competition.”

Harbison added that “a concession has been made to pipers only eligible /entering for one competition. The prize money went up last year and we intend to put some of it up again this year.”

The Northern Meeting had been held in Inverness, Scotland, since its beginning more than 150 years ago, but moved to Aviemore, Scotland, in 2005 when renovations to the Eden Court Theatre forced the event to find a new home. The contest will remain in Aviemore in 2007.

Harbison added that entry fees, sponsorship, donations and entrance money go to the staging of the event, which includes hall rental, program printing, judges and stewards’ fees, administration and prizes.

Harbison indicated that the event hopes to keep the entry fee at £40 for “another few years.”


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  1. They had better watch it. On thin ice. There are far too many new events popping up that treat pipers like royalty and never would dream of requiring them to pay an entry fee. Awright it is a gold medal with lots of history and tradition behind it, but memories these days are shorter and shorter.



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