The landscape of Glasgow Green looked very different recently, as a giant 23ft piper mural, known as The Colossal Clansman, popped (or piped) up in the park – announcing that Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival and The World Pipe Band Championships are returning to the city from August 7 – 13.
The world’s biggest week of piping will see over 50,000 music fans, families and tourists flock to Glasgow to enjoy 200 events and 8,000 performers throughout the week.
The Colossal Clansman was created using a remarkable 6 miles of fabric - the same amount it takes to kit out the 23 participating Piping Live! bands and 21 competing in Grade 1 qualifiers of The World Pipe Band Championships.
The 7m by 4m portrait, made by Glasgow artist, Bruno Gallagher, was created to showcase the grand scale of both events, which annually attract thousands of visitors from across the globe to the city.
Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival is the biggest festival of its kind in the world and the week-long celebrations will see over 200 events take place in various venues across the city from 7 – 13 August. Its diverse programme is famed for bringing the best pipers and pipe bands in the world to Glasgow and 2017 is set to be just as outstanding, with acts including Peatbog Faeries, Battlefield Band and Tejedor topping the bill and many more to be announced in coming weeks. The programme will also see performances by the very best international acts from countries such as Estonia, Argentina, Canada, Czech Republic, Northern Ireland, Australia and Italy, as well as numerous events including the fiercely contested Master Solo, International Quartet and Pipe Idol competitions.
Throughout the week there will be daily performances and family fun in George Square, the festival’s city centre hub, as well as recitals, book launches and the hugely popular Street Café at The National Piping Centre. The hugely popular Pipers’ Market will also return this year to George Square, bringing with it some of Scotland’s very best food and drink, as well as craft stalls for everyone to enjoy.
Roddy MacLeod, Festival Director of Piping Live! said: “Last year’s festival was all about celebrating bagpipes being at the heart of life’s moments that matter and this certainly resonated with people, as we celebrated a record-breaking number of attendees at Piping Live!. As well as selling more tickets than ever before, the festival had an economic impact of £2.3 million to Glasgow, which is just incredible. This year we are continuing to celebrate how piping and its music brings people together, with a diverse programme of events gathering the world’s best pipers and traditional musicians to the city. There really is something for everyone at Piping Live! – so make sure you come along and help make 2017 another record year for the festival.”
The World Pipe Band Championships will return to Glasgow Green on 11 and 12 August. This year it celebrates its 70th anniversary, with the first ever World Pipe Band Championships being held at Murrayfield in Edinburgh in 1947. The event was first held in Glasgow in 1948 and has been staged in the city continuously since 1986.
Known affectionately as The Worlds, they’re hailed as the pinnacle of competitive Pipe Band competition and are organised on behalf of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association by the City of Glasgow. This year, the Worlds will be part of the celebrations for the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.
This year, Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band from Northern Ireland defends the title they reclaimed last year. The band has been World Champions five times in the last six years.
In recent years, over 225 bands have travelled from all over the world, bringing around 8000 pipers and drummers to compete in eight grades for the world title. Entries for this year’s event are open and the final list of participants will be confirmed six weeks before the championships.
Ian Embelton, Chief Executive of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association said: “The World Pipe Band Championships has developed and changed throughout its history but at its core the challenge to Pipe Bands is still the same. They spend months rehearsing for their shot at the World Title, all the time searching for the perfect performance that will show off their full talent as a band. A day out at the Worlds is to experience a unique showcase of Scottish culture but also to enjoy musicianship and teamwork of extraordinary quality. There is nothing quite like it.”
Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Piping Live! and The World Pipe Band Championships, with both events attracting the best piping talent from around the world. Scotland is the perfect stage for cultural events and it is fitting in the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology that Glasgow continues to host these two wonderful international events, which truly showcase Scotland’s heritage and cultural offering.”
Tickets for Piping Live! are on sale now via www.pipinglive.co.uk
Tickets for The Worlds are available now via www.theworlds.co.uk or 0141 353 8000