The world’s biggest week of piping and traditional music was launched today, Wednesday 16th April. Taking place over the 11-17th August, The World Pipe Band Championships and Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival will feature over 200 events which will be enjoyed by 50,000 spectators and 8000 performers from 150 nations worldwide!
Tickets are expected to be snapped up in record time as music fans secure their place at concerts featuring the best in traditional music and parents plan a great family day out.
The events were launched at the world’s largest multitouch video wall, located in Glasgow Caledonian University. The screen showcased the flags of the 150 countries from which music fans that will be travelling to Glasgow for the annual celebrations.
The global appeal of piping grows year on year and Glasgow’s air links have seen more music fans come to the city to enjoy the events live. 2014 is expected to be bigger than ever as tourists remain in the dear green place following the Commonwealth Games. The demand from overseas has also seen both events offer live streaming and “viewing parties” take place everywhere from Christchurch to Kazakhstan.
Piping Live! is famed for its diverse concerts, which over the last 10 years of the festival, have featured some of the most innovative collaborations in traditional music. The 2014 festival will celebrate the best in the piping tradition and well as the most ground-breaking acts in diverse spaces around the city. Pop-up performances are also planned on Buchanan Street and some surprise locations around the UNESCO City of Music. The festival will also put on a series of events focusing on the link between piping and WWI, in this centenary year.
As well as hundreds of free daytime events, performances, and family activities the evening concert highlights include the Masters Solo competition featuring the best solo pipers from across the globe and the annual International Quartet Competition at the Royal Concert Hall. The Gaels and Gracenotes concert will see Gaelic talent perform, including BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award winners, The Mischa Macpherson Trio. The New Music Concert is a platform for Calum MacCrimmon’s Borraig suite of compositions inspired by the lands in Skye, alongside the Rakish Paddy where four of Armagh's most talented sons will present an audio-visual extravaganza. The Art School is one of two new venues for this year and will play host to the Friday Night Folk gig featuring Paddy Keenan, Tejedor and Daimh Mor Big Band. The infamous After Worlds Shindig annual ceilidh, headlined by Skippenish this year, is the place to be after The World Pipe Band Championships and goes onto the wee hours as everyone celebrates a great week of music.
Says Piping Live! Festival Director Roddy MacLeod: “Last year was our 10th birthday and such a blast, but this year will be even better! The city will be buzzing after the Commonwealth Games and we want to keep the momentum going. Whether you are looking to listen to piobaireachd, have a party or are parents looking for a fun day out with the kids – Piping Live! has it all. We are also proud to be part of Homecoming 2014 and our series of concerts and photo exhibition on the role of piping in WWI will be touching and insightful.”
Piping Live! will be proceeded by the spectacle that is The World Pipe Band Championships which takes place on Glasgow Green. The Grade 1 qualifiers being staged on Friday 15th August with the full competition will being held on Saturday 16th August. Over 200 pipe bands from across globe will be trying to clinch the crown from Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band from Belfast, who have won the last three years in a row!
The 25,000 who attend the annual event make The Worlds the biggest competition in any piping fan’s calendar and attracts bands and supporters from as far afield as Zimbabwe, Mexico and Brazil. The event is a great family day out with children aged 5 and under gaining free entry, a special children’s zone, Highland Dancing, and Highland Games. An International Street of Food area will be introduced, offering a wide variety of different dishes from around the world.
Meanwhile, the popular Flavour of Scotland area is being given a boost and will be made bigger than ever, offering the very best in Scottish food and drink. This year’s theme is the “Glorious Twelfth” and will feature demonstrations and recipes highlighting the start of the Scottish Game season. The Scottish theme continues at the Worlds crafts and traders’ area, where there will be over 30 stalls promoting all things Scottish.
Ian Embelton, Chief Executive of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, said: “This year’s event is shaping up to be one of the best yet and we look forward to welcoming more than 200 pipe bands from all over the world to Glasgow Green.
“The World Pipe Band Championships have always been a family-orientated event, with plenty of entertainment for people of all ages. Now with children aged 5 and under going free for the first time, we hope to see many new faces in 2014. The excellent choice of Scottish food, drink, arts and crafts will help ensure a great day out so get your tickets now!”
Glasgow is proud to host the world’s biggest week of piping and Scott Taylor, Chief Executive of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “This summer is shaping up to be one of the most exciting, and high-profile, in Glasgow’s history. The city is buzzing and we’re firmly in the global spotlight as we prepare to welcome some of the biggest events in the world, from the Commonwealth Games to BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend and the MTV Europe Music Awards.
“We're also home to an enviable, diverse and ever-growing programme of annual major events and festivals. Piping Live! and the World Pipe Band Championships are firmly at the heart of Glasgow’s cultural calendar, offering thousands of piping fans from across the UK and overseas the chance to experience a spectacular week of superb traditional Scottish music and culture. With so much on offer, 2014 will be an unforgettable year for visitors.”
Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland echo’s this sentiment saying: “Scotland is the perfect stage for events, and as the home of Piping we can proudly claim to host two of the world’s most significant events in Piping Live! and The World Pipe Band Championships. Piping Live! also features on the Homecoming Scotland 2014 programme, and through a fantastic series of concerts and events it will undoubtedly be one of the cultural highlights of the year.”
Tickets for Piping Live! and The Worlds are on sale now and available by calling 0141 353 8000 or by logging onto www.peoplemakeglasgow.com/piping
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