Published: December 16, 2019

Piping Live! 2019 generates £2-million for Glasgow

The Claddagh Mhor Pipe Band of Portland, Maine, playing on the steps of the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, a typical 2019 Piping Live! performance. [Photo Alister Sinclair]
The 2019 edition of the Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival brought in at least £2-million ($3.5-million) for the local Glasgow economy according to the organization’s annual study on the positive impact of the week-long event.

The amount is a bit more than what was calculated for the 2018 Piping Live! and a bit less than the 2017 festival.

The August 10-18 festival attracted more than 33,000 piping and drumming enthusiasts, with three-quarters from outside the city and almost a quarter from outside of the UK. Overseas visitors stayed in Glasgow for an average 5.6 days and in Scotland for 10.4 days, each person on average spending about £100 a day on their vacation.

The study was done by the Tourism Resources Company. It does not take into account the World Pipe Band Championships, which is not officially part of Piping Live!, but each event is inseparably linked to one another.

Piping Live! receives funding from various organizations, including Glasgow Life and Event Scotland, as well as a long list of sponsors for its many events.

“Yet again, we’re thrilled with these results,” said Roddy MacLeod, director of the event and head of the National Piping Centre, which serves as the de facto headquarters for the festival.

As well as a vital source of entertainment for pipers and drummers during the week leading up to the World Championships, Piping Live! can also be a revenue generator for bands. The festival compensates artists for their performances, including many bands that participate in daily public marches and recitals at Buchanan Street and George Square.

The 2019 festival was its sixteenth rendition. The event started in 2004 as Piping Hot!, recognizing that hundreds of bored pipers and drummers spending the week in Glasgow waiting for the World Championships were a virtual captive audience. The festival took inspiration from grass roots initiatives like the annual Todd Bar Solo Piping Recital-Challenge and the Pre-World’s Concert organized by the Glasgow Skye Association Pipe Band.

The release of the results of the Piping Live! economic study comes on the heels of the RSPBA saying that it would increase cash awards for bands winning a prize at the World’s by an average of £83. There has been no recent economic study of the benefits of the two-day World Championships.

 


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Glasgow green comes to almost £2-million with 2018 Piping Live! festival
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Piping Live! worth $4.3-million to Glasgow
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