June 04, 2024

“Job done:” Drumming for Drinks is no more

Drumming for Drinks, maybe the most inventive and fun event in the history of piping and drumming history, will not be held in 2024 and the foreseeable future.

The celebrated day of performance and revelry for drummers, pipers and music lovers of all kinds was first held in 2007 and 15 more times since then. In 2023, Drumming for Drinks returned bigger than ever to an audience of more than 500 at Glasgow’s Barrowlands.

Over the years, in addition to anything-goes performances by some of the world’s most creative pipe band drummers, the event featured guest acts such as Top Secret Drum Corps, the Royal Marines, Percussion Theatre, and the Red Hot Chilli Pipers.

Drumming for Drinks was put on by the Innovation Group, an educational and performance events management collaboration between pipe band drummers Scott Currie, Tyler Fry, and Jim Kilpatrick. Over the years, Innovation has organized events in Scotland, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand that feature freestyle competitive drumming in a live game show-style environment.

Drumming for Drinks was the marquee event held during World’s Week in August in Glasgow. The first 15 were at the Lord Todd Bar at the University of Strathclyde.

Drumming for Drinks organizers (L-R) Scott Currie, Tyler Fry and Jim Kilpatrick, with the Top Secret Drum Corps behind them.

“After an incredible 16-year run, the time has come for us to call last orders on Drumming for Drinks,” Currie, Fry and Kilpatrick said in a joint statement. “From year one, our goal was to create a unique event that would bring out the very best in drumming talent and friendship from all over the world, and it’s fair to say we’ve accomplished that and enjoyed many unforgettable moments along the way.”

All three leaders have built successful businesses for musicians with a focus on pipe band drumming.

“We met recently and collectively agreed that now is the right time to call it a day.”

“All good things must come to an end and the toughest part of our decision was how we would break the news to the wonderful global community that has built around Drumming for Drinks,” they continued. “Our respective companies and family commitments have grown and changed significantly in recent years and it has become increasingly challenging for us to dedicate the necessary months of time and resources towards pulling the event together. We met recently and collectively agreed that now is the right time to call it a day with an event at its pinnacle that we can look back on with pride and say ‘job done.'”

The 2023 Drumming for Drinks audience at the Barrowlands in Glasgow.

In many ways, Drumming for Drinks opened attitudes to the possibility that piping and drumming didn’t always have to be bound to tradition. Humour and open-mindedness were hallmarks of the events, which sometimes featured flaming sticks, glow-in-the-dark mallets, and even acrobatics.

“It goes without saying that Drumming for Drinks didn’t happen on its own and we need to thank all of you – our competitors and supporting musicians, special guest performers, audiences, generous sponsors, venue hosts, bar staff, crew and families – for believing in us and playing a part in transforming what was once a crazy idea on a flight into one of the most entertaining days on the pipe band calendar. Our gratitude and love to all of you, and we wish you all the best in your future drumming adventures.”

The event was held independently, with no affiliation with the Piping Live! festival or the World Pipe Band Championships, though all three events heavily leveraged each other.

Despite the cancellation of Drumming for Drinks and future Innovation events, the partners retain the Drumming for Drinks concept, title and brand, not closing the door they opened.

“You never know what the future holds,” they concluded.




  1. Innovation has brought the best, most fun events in Pipe Band Drumming.
    Hoping for a future in another form.
    Congrats to you 3 for making these happen.



Forgotten Password?