March 18, 2020

European Championships cancelled

As had been expected, the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association has cancelled the European Pipe Band Championships, scheduled for June 27th in Inverness, Scotland.

The competition is the second of the five major championships to fall off the pipe band competition schedule in the UK, as the ancillary effects of the worldwide COVID-19 crisis are realized.

The association said that the decision is “based on the latest guidance from the Scottish Government, as well advice taken from our key partners.”

Both the European and British Championships will not be held in 2020, and the rapid cancellations have brought into question the financial stability of the RSPBA, which had said in November 2019 that it was depending on revenues from the five championships to cover a sizable debt left after the renovation of its Glasgow headquarters, which had exceeded £1-million.

There has been no known update on the UK Championships in Belfast, scheduled for June 13th.

“When will the association stand up and pull the season?” said a piper from an RSPBA member band in the UK. “This dither is making it harder for bands.”

The Irish Pipe Band Association also revealed that many of its scheduled events have been cancelled or postponed.

March 21: National Executive Council  Meeting of the IPBA; March 22: Munster Solo Championships; March 28: New Ross & District Pipe Band Celtic Weave Concert; April 18: Pan Celtic Solos / South East Solo Championships; April 5: Stewards & Compilers Course; May 2: Leinster Pipe Band Championships – postponed until August 1, 2020.

With uncertainty and travel plans for many competitions needing to be arranged far in advance, bands around the world are in a state of limbo as to whether they should on their own cancel their plans or wait for their associations to make a call.



  1. Most of our members have booked and paid for their flights for all of the UK Majors at this stage but having this certainty for the Inverness trip will mean we aren’t paying for bus transportation and accomodation unnecessarily. I think some leadership needs to be shown here and tough calls need to be made quickly so that bands have certainty moving forward around the entire calendar. The UK Championships is scheduled before the Europeans. The All-Ireland Championships the week after.

  2. Given what we are seeing unfolding in front of us, the issue of the RSPBA and their building project is a side show, when so many of us will have challenges ahead as families, workers and businesses. We can get together again at the other end



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