The World Pipe Band Championships will feature 214 bands from 13 countries when they return to Glasgow next month. The Worlds will be held on August 17 and 18 at Glasgow Green when around 8000 pipers and drummers will compete for the ultimate prize.
More than a quarter of the total entry will come from overseas with nations represented including New Zealand, Australia, Denmark, France, Canada, Oman, Switzerland, Zimbabwe, Eire, USA, England, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Up to 40% of the competitors this year are expected to be under the age of 25. The World Pipe Band Championships is part of the Partner Programme for the Year of Young People 2018. The Year of Young People 2018 provides a platform to promote and celebrate the talents, achievements and contributions of Scotland’s incredible young people.
Glasgow first hosted the World Pipe Band Championships in 1948 and has been the host city for the event every year since 1986.
This year, the Chieftain of the World Pipe Band Championships will be Glasgow’s Lord Provost, Eva Bolander, who first visited the city as a piper in a band.
Tickets for the World Pipe Band Championships, are on sale with some categories already sold out. Seats for the finale of the Grade 1 competition which will decide which band will be World Champions are limited and expected to sell out in advance.
The World Pipe Band Championships are the pinnacle of competitive Pipe Band competition and are organised on behalf of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association by the City of Glasgow. The current World Champions are Inveraray and District Pipe Band.
Ian Embelton, Chief Executive of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association said: “The World Pipe Band Championships are now on a scale that would scarcely have been imagined 70 years ago when it was first held in Glasgow. We have bands entered from all over the world all competing to stage their best performance and test themselves against the best. Pipe Bands also play a significant role in the development of young people, in building communities and friendships and teaching skills that will last a lifetime and be passed on to future generations.”
Glasgow’s Lord Provost and Chieftain for the World Pipe Band Championships for 2018, Eva Bolander said: “Some bands spend years raising funds and saving in order to compete at the World Pipe Band Championships. That so many are making the effort in 2018 to come to the city shows just how much these championships mean to them and their supporters. I’m looking forward to welcoming everyone in August and witnessing the fierce but friendly competition. The Worlds promises to be an incredible occasion. It’s an event Glasgow is always proud to host for it secures our reputation as the piping capital of the world.”
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Glasgow is the perfect stage for the World Pipe Band Championships and it is great to be welcoming bands from all over the world back to the city for another year of this iconic event. It’s particularly exciting to have so many young people taking part and showing off their musical talents as we celebrate Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018.Just as piping is synonymous with Scotland, the Worlds are synonymous with Glasgow having spent over 70 years establishing it as the pinnacle of competitive Pipe Band competition. I wish all the bands taking part the best of luck and hope they have a great time.”
Tickets for the event and full information will be available via www.theworlds.co.uk with discounts on some tickets for people buying in advance. You can also buy tickets by calling 0141 353 8000 and in person at the Royal Concert Hall box office.
The World Pipe Band Championships are held in Glasgow at the same time as the city hosts Piping Live! Both events are supported by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
Piping Live! is a week-long celebration of bagpipes and traditional music, taking place between 13 – 19 August. It brings over 40,000 music fans to Glasgow and sees over 150 events take place in various venues across the city. Ticketed events include firm favourites, The Masters Solo Piping Competition Lowland and Borders Pipers’ Society and International Quartet Competition 2018, plus much more. Listen to some of the best live acts for free at the festival Street Café, there will be Pipe Idol, emerging artists, sponsor showcases and much more. Each event will showcase the world’s most talented musicians in modern trad music. Keep updated on ticket information from www.pipinglive.co.uk.