May 12, 2023

Scottish pipe band season gets going this weekend with Dunbar, Banchory and Gourock

Police Scotland Fife carrying off the Grade 1 trophy at the 2022 Gourock Highland Games.

The long off-season is officially over this weekend for Scottish bands as the outdoor competition circuit returns with events at the traditional opener at Dunbar on Saturday and then Banchory and Gourock on Sunday.

While each event offers a Grade 1 competition, only Gourock on Scotland’s west coast has attracted Grade 1 bands, with Inveraray & District, Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia, Police Scotland & Federation and Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia vying for the prizes.

All three of the non-championship contests allow bands to play up a grade if they can meet the playing requirements, and Grade 2 Uddingston will compete against the four Grade 1 bands entered at Gourock.

Weather as usual will be a mixed bag. Dunbar, near Edinburgh on Scotland’s east coast, is forecasted to see a high of 14°C with an 80% chance of rain and winds at 18 km/h. Gourock will likely see a high of 12°C, 80% chance of rain and showers, and wind at 21 km/h. The Banchory games in the shadow of Balmoral Castle in Royal Deeside is predicted to reach 14°C and rain, with wind at 16.

The Irish Pipe Band Association-sanctioned Leinster Pipe Band Championships were held on May 6th in Dublin, kicking off the season in Ireland.

Grade 1 St. Laurence O’Toole of Dublin and Northern Ireland’s Closkelt debuted new competition material as the only Grade 1 bands at the contest, with St. Laurence O’Toole placing first and winning the drumming in both the Medley and MSR events.

Compared with RSPBA major championships, smaller competitions in the UK and Ireland attract only a fraction of the entries.

Stay tuned to pipes|drums for results from these events as they become available.






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