London solos postponed until March 2021
The events had been scheduled originally for November 7, 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic eventually put paid to in-person plans for this year.
Organizers described the new date as “provisional,” since there are still no assurances that the crisis will be over enough to conduct such an extensive solo indoor competition in-person. If held, the contest will be at the Caledonian Club in the city’s core.
The SPSL also announced that it will hold a special online competition on November 7, 2020, for pipers with a Competing Pipers Association C-Grade.
“We have two guiding principles for our annual competition, regardless of COVID-19: ensuring the welfare of all participants and running a financially sustainable event for the Society,” SPSL President Michael Fitzhenry said in a statement. “The committee has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation, including government guidelines and forecasts from independent medical bodies. Following a meeting focused on analyzing options and scenarios, we’ve identified postponement as the most pragmatic path to mitigate the various risks associated with ongoing community transmission and a potential second wave, in addition to sustaining the Competition’s status as a prestige event in the piping calendar that our sponsors, members, competitors, judges and spectators have come to expect.”
The London competition had discontinued C-Grade events in 2018, mainly due to an over-crowded and complicated schedule. Details of the online contest will be revealed in September, Fitzhenry added.
Along with the Northern Meeting and the Argyllshire Gathering, the SPSL competitions are among the most significant in the world for elite solo pipers. The Bratach Gorm for piobaireachd is one of the piping world’s top awards. The SPSL competitions celebrated their eightieth anniversary in 2019.
The winner of the Bratach and the overall SPSL aggregate champion are qualifiers for the Glenfiddich Championships. Callum Beaumont of Linlithgow, Scotland, was the winner of both titles in 2019.
In 2019, the competitions became a two-day event, with the Bratach Gorm held on a Friday.
2019 Bratach Gorm goes to Callum Beaumont
November 2, 2019