Published: August 31, 2004

Piping Hot Festival opens

Glasgow’s International Piping Festival “Piping Hot” kicked off a busy week of events on Monday highlighting pipers and piping from various parts of the world. Although day-one of the Festival was dampened with a heavy rain, spirits appeared high among staff and participants, and activities seemed to go off with ease.

Although the outdoor cafe at the Piping Centre had few customers sipping beers in the rain, good numbers turned out for events at George Square featuring guest pipe bands and an international showcase of pipers and contemporary Celtic bands. National Piping Centre Director Roddy MacLeod was at the heart of the action throughout the day, and at day’s end said he was happy with the results, despite the rain.

The National Piping Centre itself was awash with visitors, attending workshops, visiting the museum, and later attending a forum with Northumbrian piper Kathryn Tickell, whose virtuosity on her instrument is amazing, as is her knowledge of the lore and history of piping in Northumbria.

What is abundantly clear at this Festival is that this is not just another “piping event” of the kind we are used to attending. From the efficiently organized media reception, to the extensive merchandising and event identification, Piping Hot sets a new standard for excellence in the organization of these events.

Evidence of the depth and quality of this festival runs through everything you see. The Festival has invited the top exponents of the art, and showcased them appropriately. It has also covered a broad range of interest, from piobaireachd to pipe bands, from uilleann piping to rock-and-reel bands, and from piping related artwork to open-air busking. This is supported with extensive print and media coverage, and has the backing of significant funding agencies and sponsors.

On day one, Piping Hot more than lived up to the expectations it created.

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