World’s cancelled for second straight year
Glasgow Life, the organization that puts on the event under license from the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, determined that there is too much doubt at this point to move forward with the world’s biggest pipe band competition, which had been scheduled for August 13-14 at Glasgow Green.
While a contest limited to bands from the UK might have been realistic, the international aspect of the competition makes it the larger spectacle it has become, typically comprising about a third of contestants from other countries.
The cancellation of the World’s is another decimating blow to the pipe band community, not to mention the millions of pounds in revenue that the event brings into Glasgow’s economy.
The RSPBA and Renfrewshire Council also announced that the Scottish Championships at Dumbarton, Scotland, was also cancelled. It had been scheduled for July 31st.
Having taken time to explore several delivery options together, it is clear to all involved that we can’t stage anything like the World Championships people know and love. – Glasgow Life
“The World Pipe Band Championships is an event Glasgow always looks forward to hosting and in conjunction with the RSPBA and EventScotland we had hoped another memorable occasion on Glasgow Green would be possible,” said Dr. Bridget McConnell, Chief Executive of Glasgow Life in a statement. “Having taken time to explore several delivery options together, it is clear to all involved that we can’t stage anything like the World Championships people know and love. We hope to be able to welcome bands and supporters back to Glasgow Green next summer.”
In addition to membership dues from bands, the association’s finances revolve around its five major championships. With no competitions, many bands that are experiencing their own financial difficulties have opted out of paying registrations, while some bands have been able to pay membership dues simply to support the greater good of a viable association.
With the exception of Australia and New Zealand, countries that have been able to manage the pandemic relatively well, in-person pipe band competitions around the world have been cancelled almost everywhere. A few events have been able to go ahead in the southern United States, and there is a hope that a postponed Cobourg Highland Games in Ontario will be able to take place in September, although that province and much of Canada is experiencing a significant third wave of infections, causing governments to enact stricter prevention measures that will last until at least late May.
A survey by pipes|drums this week of non-UK bands showed that many had already cancelled their plans to attend the World’s, even if it were on, due to finances, lack of practice time, travel restrictions and general uncertainty.
The Piping Live! festival recently announced that it would occur, with plans to stage events at venues, accessible to viewers around the world and, possibly, to those attending in-person.
Inveraray & District, winners of the 2019 World’s, will continue to be the reigning World Champions until at least 2022.