May 14, 2024

Ally the Piper to judge, perform, talk at Piping Live! among another full slate of events in August

Ally the Piper

The 2024 edition of Piping Live! will tick all the familiar boxes, bring on the usual array of virtuoso artists, and add a seriously unusual twist with the presence of social media sensation “Ally the Piper” – Ally Crowley-Duncan – as a (not-so) “secret” judge of competitions during the week.

Crowley-Duncan, the world’s most well-known piper whose online followers and video views number in the tens of millions, will take a break from her world tour to fly into Glasgow for the August 10-18 festival that coincides with the RSPBA’s World Pipe Band Championships on August 16-17 at Glasgow Green.

She will perform and host a Q&A with the audience at the festival’s Street Café, just outside the National Piping Centre’s headquarters on McPhater Street.

“Even though my career in bagpiping largely exists outside of the traditional, I’m immensely grateful for the opportunity to stay connected to the community and immerse myself once again in the atmosphere of Piping Live!,” Schenectady, New York-based Crowley-Duncan said in a press release. “I am really looking forward to being back in the beautiful country of Scotland and reconnecting with old friends, having first taken part with the Scotia Glenville Pipe Band in 2012.”

For fans of piping competitions, the usual events are scheduled:

August 12th – Masters Solo Piping Competition, the National Piping Centre, sponsored by R.G Hardie & Co. (competitors still to be announced)

August 13th – International Quartet Competition, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall Strathclyde Suite (Inveraray & District and Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia so far confirmed). A Night of International Piping with the Eagle Pipers Society at the Scots Guards Club, Edinburgh.

August 14th – Gordon Duncan Memorial Piping Competition, National Piping Centre Auditorium. (competitors still to be announced)

August 15th – Pipe-Major Alasdair Gillies Memorial Recital Challenge, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall Strathclyde Suite, featuring Callum Beaumont, Alex Gandy, Stuart Liddell, Matt MacIsaac, and Angus MacColl.

Pipe Idol is back, with the familiar format of four heats of four each day, culminating in a four-piper final on August 15th. Competitors are still to be announced.

Lunchtime recitals by elite Highland pipers will be held at the National Piping Centre on August 13th, 14th and 15th, featuring Callum Beaumont and James Duncan MacKenzie.

Ailis Sutherland and Croft No. Five drummer, Paul Jennings.

Some big-name Celtic acts are Ceol Nua, Nice N Sleazy, Croft No. Five, Ailis Sutherland and The Pipe Factory.

More than 700 musicians are expected to perform at events throughout Glasgow over the nine-day festival, which organizers say attracts more than 30,000 people.

Presale tickets went on sale on May 14th, and general tickets will start selling on May 17th. All tickets can be purchased at

Although the festival is not officially part of the World Championships, the two events benefit greatly from one another.






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