November 11, 2022

Inverness pulls plug on European Championships

The city of Inverness has cancelled its plans to host the 2023 European Pipe Band Championships, saying that the event is “no longer financially viable” due to fees and infrastructure concerns.

Under the banner of “Piping Inverness,” the northern Scotland city had won a three-year deal with the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association that would see the championship held at Bught Park through 2023. Organizers said that upwards of 17,000 people attended the event in 2022.

In a statement, Piping Inverness expressed its regret and thanks to the pipers and drummers who delivered the competition, and the “biggest thanks” to those who attended. No thanks were given to the RSPBA.

In its statement of 2019 activities, the RSPBA recorded £73,246 in income from the European Championships. The contest was not held in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, and 2022 financial statements will be released in the first quarter of 2023.

The European Championships – one of the RSPBA’s annual five major competitions – was taken on by Piping Inverness in 2019 and moved to Bught Park after being held several years at Grant Park in nearby Forres.

While the contest attracted just more than 100 bands in 2022, entries at Inverness were typically substantially fewer than other majors due to the relative remoteness of the location and the expense that further-travelled bands would have to incur to attend. The UK Championships in Northern Ireland see a smaller entry for the same reasons.

Inveraray & District successfully defended its European Champions title in 2022 after winning the previous staging of the contest in 2019.

At publication time, the RSPBA had not responded to a request for comment.





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