Paisley out as British Championships venue
If the British Pipe Band Championships are held in 2022, they won’t be in Paisley, Scotland, the location for the competition for many years.
Renfrewshire Council, which purchased the rights to the event from 2016 to 2019, confirmed that it would not be holding the British in 2022, despite Paisley being the listed venue for the 2020 and 2021 championships that were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We won’t be hosting the British Pipe Band Championships in Paisley in 2022,” said Pauline Allan, Events Manager for Renfrewshire Council, in response to an inquiry from pipes|drums. “We very much enjoyed partnering with the RSPBA from 2016-2019 and it was disappointing that the last two years of our partnership coincided with the pandemic.”
When the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association revealed on August 6th the schedule for the organization’s five majors that it definitively said “will take place” in 2022, the British Championships listed May 21st as the date, but with a proviso that it is still “to be confirmed.”
Taking note of the ambiguity, pipes|drums immediately sent a message to RSPBA Executive Officer Ian Embelton and Chairman Kevin Reilly requesting clarification, and an update on the status of the competition. To date, there has been no response.
Several other RSPBA insiders were also asked, and some, all requesting anonymity, responded that they had also noticed the lack of clarity and wondered about the status of the event, but that they, too, did not know the status.
The association relies in large part on revenues from the sale of the rights to hold its major championships to sustain the organization’s operational costs.
The other four RSPBA championships and their venues appear to be locked in for 2022:
- United Kingdom Championships, June 11th, Lurgan, Northern Ireland
- European Championships, June 25th, Inverness, Scotland
- Scottish Championships, July 30th, Dumbarton, Scotland
- World Championships, August 12th-13th, Glasgow
“We wish the association, and everyone in the piping world, the very best in successfully resuming competition in 2022 and will continue our dialog with the association actively seeking alternative events and activities to partner on in the future,” Renfrewshire Council’s Pauline Allan added.
St. Laurence O’Toole of Dublin was the last winner in Grade 1 of the British Championships, in 2019.