May 31, 2004

(Updated) Glasgow International Piping Festival to be launched officially May 10

The new “Piping Hot” Glasgow International Piping Festival will be launched officially at an invitation-only event at the National Piping Centre in Glasgow on May 10.

The festival, which has received £40,000 in funding from Glasgow City Council, is scheduled to take place August 9–15, 2004, at various indoor and outdoor venues around Glasgow’s city centre.

The event is also being subsidized by Event Scotland, the Scottish Arts Council, Scottish Enterprise, and the European Regional Development Fund.

The primary sponsor is Glenfiddich, which has faithfully suppported piping causes for more than 30 years.

According to the invitation from the festival’s public-relations agency, the Piping Hot festival promises “to showcase piping as it has never been seen before, [and] will feature performances from some of the world’s pre-eminent international pipers as well as homegrown talent. Piping Hot will be the UK’s first festival dedicated to piping and looks certain to become a firm favourite in the UK’s annual festival calendar for fans of piping, new and old.”

The event is apparently the brainchild of the National Piping Centre’s directors, and has no connection with the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, even though the festival takes advantage of the influx of the more than 10,000 musicians and enthusiasts who descend on Glasgow for the World Championships.

The RSPBA has not indicated whether band prize money for the World’s will be raised. The 2003 World Champion Grade 1 band received £400.

The well-established annual pipe band concert at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall is also not affiliated with the new festival. Managed and promoted by the Phoenix Honda Glasgow Skye Pipe Band, the August 11 concert will feature Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia.

Said one American piper who spoke on condition of anonymity, “This new festival could turn the week before the World’s into a lot more than just practicing and trying to stay out of the pub every night. But, with the amount of money everyone in my band is shelling out to get to Scotland, I don’t know how much more money we’ll have to burn. I hope it’s all free. Either way, I’m there.”


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