World’s tickets go on sale, offering covered Grade 1 arena; 146 bands entered over all grades
Tickets for the 2023 World Pipe Band Championships on August 18-19 at Glasgow Green, Glasgow, go on sale at 10 am GMT, June 27th, with tickets to get into the park starting at £8.65 for children and £10.65 for adults, or a family pass for £21.30.
A Grade 1 reserved seat arena ticket for the Saturday is priced at £35.90 if booked in advance and £40.40 if purchased on the day. The advance purchase price in 2022 was £30 but, for the first time, those sitting in the arena on either or both of the days can have a roof over their heads in the event of rain or blazing sunshine. Competing bands will still be subjected to whatever elements meet them when they perform.
A total of 146 bands have entered the globe’s largest pipe band competition, one more than the 145 that entered in 2022 (143 actually competed), the first time the event was held following its cancellation in 2020 and 2021 due to the global pandemic.
Glasgow Life, which licenses the event from the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, said that the 2022 World’s attracted 40,000 spectators.
“Demand for tickets for the Grade 1 seating arena at the two-day event on Glasgow Green is expected to exceed capacity.” – Glasgow Life
A statement from Glasgow Life said: “Demand for tickets for the Grade 1 seating arena at the two-day event on Glasgow Green is expected to exceed capacity. Spectators wishing seats in this grandstand facility, which for the first time is covered, offering shade from the sun and shelter in the event of poor weather, as well as excellent vantage points to view the competition – are therefore encouraged to book as early as possible.”
While actual 2022 ticket sales for the arena were not divulged, numerous seats were visibly empty during all of the Grade 1 events that were held in warm and sunny weather, perhaps due to far fewer non-UK bands travelling to Scotland and lingering concerns about contracting COVID-19. A ticket for the arena in 2022 was £30.
The 2023 World Pipe Band Championships at Glasgow Green will mark 75 years since the event was first held in Glasgow. Before 1981, the competition moved to a different location in Scotland or England. Apart from 1985, when the contest had to move to Hamilton, Scotland, due to safety concerns at Bellahouston Park, the event has been held in Glasgow.
A formal World Pipe Band Championship was started in 1947 by the then Scottish Pipe Band Association. Before then, the Cowal Gathering in Dunoon, Scotland, was the de facto “World Championship.” One rationale for creating a formally designated World Pipe Band Championship was to allow the event to be staged at a different location each year, an attempt at making the location fairer to travelling competing bands.
Fourteen Grade 1 and 19 Grade 2 bands competed at the 2022 World Championships. Sixteen Grade 1 bands are expected to compete this year, and Grade 2 is likely to be a field of 20 bands. Under RSPBA rules, an entry of 22 is required to break a competition into two heats and a final.
The RSPBA reported revenues of more than £256,721 (about US$325,000) from last year’s event.
Field Marshal Montgomery of Northern Ireland are the reigning World Champions. They took home a cash prize of £1500 (about US$1,900) for their efforts.