March 14, 2022

Who’s a-goin’ to Aboyne? A most Highland of Highland games returns

The Aboyne Highland Games in the verdant rolling hills of Royal Deeside in northern Scotland is arguably the most Highland of Highland games, and a traditional favourite with solo pipers. Unable to hold the in-person event for the last two years, the games promise to come roaring back on August 6th

The scene at the 2019 Aboyne Highland Games. [Photo Harry Scott, Deeside Camera Club]
The 2020 and 2021 Aboyne solo piping competitions were held online, even making history with Bruce Gandy winning third in the Piobaireachd competition playing his own composition, “Lullaby for Colin Alexander,” which he wrote on the birth of his grandson only a week before.

The games will return to Aboyne Green, where upwards of 10,000 enthusiasts have attended in the past, injecting around £450,000 into the local economy, according to organizers.

The Aboyne Highland Games were first held in 1867 and are traditionally on the first Saturday in August. The 13th Marquess of Huntly, Granville Gordon, who lives at Aboyne Castle nearby, is the official patron of the event.

The piping competitions for many years had the distinction of being perhaps the world’s most demanding, requiring those in the 18-and-older Piobaireachd event to submit 12 tunes. The event has been especially popular with non-UK solo pipers doing the Scottish circuit before the big gatherings at Oban and Inverness.

Like most Highland games in Scotland, there are no pipe band competitions at Aboyne, organizers opting instead for performances by a few local bands.



Ian K. MacDonald continues torrid online season with overall win at Aboyne
August 7, 2021

Gandys first and second overall in Aboyne
August 3, 2020

Aboyne Games face virtual reality with 2020 solo piping events
June 7, 2020





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