July 24, 2018

Bands getting turfed as Glasgow Green goes brown

An aerial shot of Glasgow Green from last week. [Creative commons]
The lush grass that normally lends itself to Glasgow Green’s name has been baked brown by Scotland’s record-setting dry summer, and the city is laying down new sod to make it look nice for visitors and the BBC Scotland cameras when the World Pipe Band Championships roll in August 17-18.

According to reports, the existing grass is not dead, only “sunburned.” The root system of grass goes into natural dormancy during dry and cold spells.

Approximately 4,000 square metres of turf have been installed in the corner of the park most used for concerts, including the World’s arena. Though increased rainfall is forecast for the area, sod needs a daily soaking to remain green, let alone take root. The park has no sprinkler system. An estimate for 4,000 square metres of sod, excluding installation labour, would be about £10,000.

There’s a lot at stake for the promoters, Glasgow Live, and the broadcaster, BBC Scotland, who invest undisclosed  amounts into staging and licensing the World’s. A good-looking event is clearly essential to the broadcast and the visitor experience.

A standard single ticket for a seat at the arena for the Grade 1 competition on the Saturday is £28, or about $48. To get into the park on the Friday costs £6 ($10.34). At least £70,000 would be grossed if all seats are sold for the arena on Saturday.

There is no travel allowance for any of the 214 bands expected to perform at the 2018 World Championships. A group from New Zealand would commit at least $125,000 to get to the event. The total purse for the six prizes awarded in Grade 1 is about £5k.






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