June 03, 2021

Piping Live! announces 2021 line-up

The Piping Live! Glasgow International Festival of Piping announced in March that it would go ahead either all online or in-person, depending on conditions, and today the longest sustained gathering dedicated to all things bagpipes announced the schedule of events.

Piping Live! 2021 will run for nine days, from August 7th to 15th at least in an online format, and organizers said “If restrictions allow the team will do all they can to introduce a live audience element to the festival if this proves possible under renewed guidelines closer to the event.”

The more pure Highland piping events include:

2019 Piping Live! International Quartet champions, Field Marshal Montgomery.

The International Quartet Competition on August 10th –”if guidelines allow for group practice.” Should the contest be able to happen, foursomes from Field Marshal Montgomery, Glasgow Police, Inveraray & District, Johnstone, Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia, ScottishPower, Police, and Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia will vie for the prize, which was last won in 2019 by Field Marshal Montgomery.

“The quartets will take place as live performances from the Auditorium at the National Piping Centre and will be live streamed,” said Piping Live! Creative Director Finlay MacDonald. “The bands will be allocated tuning rooms and have to adhere to strict COVID-19-safe protocols for performance and broadcast, that way we have as equal a plying field as possible. Scotland is heading into Level 2 tomorrow, which allows audiences of up to 100 people in venues and theaters so we’re optimistic we can have a small audience.”

The 55th annual Silver Chanter for piobaireachd on August 7th. Invited competitors are Callum Beaumont, Dollar, Scotland; Glenn Brown, Glasgow; Finlay Johnston, Glasgow; Stuart Liddell, Inveraray, Scotland; Angus MacColl, Benderloch, Scotland; and Iain Speirs, Edinburgh.

The Masters Solo Piping Competition on August 11th. Players still to be decided.

The Pipe-Major Alasdair Gillies Memorial Piping Competition on August 12th. Described by the organizers as “Piping Live!’s flagship evening of solo piping,” Callum Beaumont, Finlay Johnston, Stuart Liddell, Angus MacColl and Glasgow’s Sarah Muir will compete in the long-form format that originated with the ad hoc event once held at Strathclyde University’s Todd Bar that inspired Piping Live!

The Gordon Duncan Memorial Competition will be held on August 15th, paying homage to the great composer and performer. One Scottish, Irish and Breton piper will each play sets of Scottish, Irish and Breton music, the winner having the best combined results over the three genres.

The UK’s PRS for Music’s PRS Foundation is helping to underwrite “Folkie Friday.” The PRS Foundation’s Open Fund commissioned five new compositions by pipers with the TRYST all-Highland pipes group. The August 13th event will debut the compositions and also feature the Kinnaris Quintet.

If pandemic restrictions are eased enough to allow, the Street Café outside of the National Piping Centre will feature various performances and product launches in an in-person setting.

The full slate of Piping Live! 2021 events and tickets can be obtained at

In addition to the PRS Foundation, Piping Live! is sponsored by EventScotland, Glasgow Life, and the William Grant Foundation. The latter has sponsored the festival since its inception.

You can find dozens of articles on pipes|drums about Piping Live! over the festival’s 18 years. Just click on the search tool (the little magnifying glass icon) at the top right of the page and search “Piping Live.”



It’s on: Piping Live! 2021 happening regardless of conditions (video)
March 26, 2021






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