Uist & Barra first big 2021 event to cancel
The Uist & Barra Invitational Solo Piping Competition is generally seen as the first significant event of any normal year. The 2020 event was the last to sneak in as a normal in-person contest, with Angus D. MacColl of Benderloch, Scotland, taking the prize on March 7th at its Glasgow setting.
But this year, the organizers have decided to call off the contest, with no online version or any plan to hold later in the year.
“The Uist & Barra Committee has decided that we aren’t going to run the competition this year,” said organizer John-Angus Smith. We’ll focus our resources on 2022 rather than run the event later in the year. There is just too much uncertainty at the moment.”
The competition has been held 75 times, and is one of the world’s longest-running events. The Uist & Barra Association (Comunn Uibhist agus Bharraigh Ghlaschu) is a group based in Glasgow particularly for the many Gaelic speakers from the Hebrides who have moved to the Lowlands of Scotland over the years.
It is widely expected that the Uist & Barra is just the first major competition to be officially cancelled, with many more announcements likely to come over the next month as the northern Hemisphere struggles to get COVID-19 under control, with widespread vaccination of populations not expected until the mid-summer.
The list of winners of the Uist & Barra over the years is a who’s who of the greatest pipers in history, including John D. Burgess, John MacFadyen, Donald MacLeod and Donald MacPherson.