Glasgow kicks off Piping Live! week, promising performers of 150 nationalities

Published: April 18, 2014
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The 2014 and eleventh annual edition of Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival and World Pipe Band Championships were officially kicked off with a media photo-op and the promise that the events will draw “50,000 spectators and 8,000 performers from 150 nations worldwide.”

The festival begins on Monday, August 11th, and continues until Sunday, August 17th, with the World Championships held on the Friday and Saturday. The launch was conducted with what’s described as “the world’s largest multi-touch video wall” at Glasgow Caledonian University, on which the flags of the 150 countries that the organizers claim will participate in the week. There are 193 countries on earth.

Two young pipe bandsmen gleefully help to launch the 150-nation August Piping Live! festival and World Championships.

Earlier in the month the RSPBA announced that advance general tickets to the Grade 1 Qualifier competitions on first day of the World Championships will be priced at £4 each, while tickets for the Saturday are £12. Based on relatively sparse grandstand attendance at the first day – Saturday – of the 2013 World’s, rumours and wishful thinking had surfaced that the Friday event would be free.

“The global appeal of piping grows year on year and Glasgow’s air links have seen more music fans come to the city to enjoy the events live,” a news release stated.  “2014 is expected to be bigger than ever as tourists remain in the dear green place following the Commonwealth Games.  The demand from overseas has also seen both events offer live streaming and “viewing parties” take place everywhere from Christchurch to Kazakhstan.”

The full lineup for Piping Live! has not yet been announced, but organizers said that staples like the Masters Solo Piping, the International Quartets and Pipe Idol contests will be featured again, and featured artists will include Paddy Keenan, Tejedor, the Daimh Mor Big Band, Skippenish and Calum MacCrimmon’s group Boreraig.

BBC Scotland will again stream the Grade 1 events worldwide, as well as capture them for radio and television broadcasts.

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Pipers: When travelling long distances on a plane with pipes – especially for those using a hide bag – cork the stocks, and store the pipes in a large plastic bag. It prevents excessive drying-out caused by the dry, pressurized air in the cabin.
Sean Somers, Calgary