July 15, 2021

Piping Live! going with a ‘hybrid’ approach for 2021

A scene from a lunchtime recital by Jack Lee at the 2019 Piping Live! festival. This year, the audience will be social distanced and carefully controlled. [Photo Alister Sinclair]
With less than a month to go before the 2021 edition of PipingLive! starts on August 7th, the organizers have confirmed that they will go with a “hybrid” mix of both in-person and online-only events over the nine-day festival.

A full program of events was released, with tickets going on sale today, prices ranging from £5 to £17.50 per event and all-access passes available for £65.

Many of the Highland piping events will be in-person and with a socially-distanced audience, including for the Silver Chanter invitational piobaireachd competition on August 7th. Glenn Brown, Callum Beaumont, Finlay Johnston, reigning champion Stuart Liddell, Angus MacColl, and six-time winner Iain Speirs and will vie for the prize.

Piping Live! will continue its traditional “Lunchtime Recital Series,” with performances by Angus Nicolson, Dr. Angus MacDonald, James Duncan MacKenzie and Fred Morrison performing and younger players like Bradley Parker, Dougal McKiggan, Alastair MacLean and Malin Lewis also taking the National Piping Centre stage in the afternoons.

The festival is taking inspiration from pipes|drums highly popular Pipes+Drums series that showcased duos of Grade 1 pipe-majors and lead-drummers performing together, calling it a “Scottish Pipe Band Showcase,” which will also feature a few Grade 1 quartets on August 10th.

The Masters Solo Piping Competition is on August 11th will have a live audience and will be streamed, and on August 12th the Pipe-Major Alasdair Gillies Memorial Piping Recital-Competition will take place.

The festival will close with the Gordon Duncan Memorial Competition on August 15th, with Ross Ainslie of Scotland, Scott Wallace of Northern Ireland, Xavier Boderiou of Brittany, and Australia’s Lincoln Hilton playing Scottish, Irish and Breton music sets.

Several masterclasses with prominent pipers will be on offer through “Learn@Live,” a series of workshops through the week by the likes of Colin MacLellan, Roddy MacLeod, Donald MacPhee, John Mulhearn and others.

This will be the 18th annual edition of Piping Live! Last year’s festival comprised a few online-only events that kept momentum moving.

With the World Pipe Band Championships cancelled for the second straight year, there will be none of the hundreds of non-UK pipers and drummers who would typically visit Glasgow for the week, but last year’s Piping Live! proved that there is a strong appetite for livestreamed pay-per-view events.

The UK has seen a surge in the Delta COVID-19 variant, particularly in England, but is currently determined to maintain largely open conditions.



Piping Live! announces 2021 line-up
June 3, 2021

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

Piping Live! carries on with pay-per-view and free online events
July 23, 2020





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