Pipe Bands Australia president Chris Earl said the national management committee had engaged Tim Kelly of pipebanned.com to stream the biennial signature event over the internet in 2016 with an option to extend the agreement for the 2018 and 2020 championships.
Mr Earl said live streaming of the championships was an investment in the future of the Australian pipe band movement that would build greater engagement across Australia and with the world-wide pipe band community.
‘We are delighted that the technology now exists to share the wonderful musical performances at our championships with a world-wide audience, family and supporters of competing bands at home and people overseas keen for an insight of the Australian scene,’ Mr Earl said.
‘Management committee has committed to support the live stream and in junction with pipebanned.com will develop income streams to sustain the venture into the future. We will also be assembling a highly respected team of pipe band doyens to provide commentary with the live stream.’
Organiser of the 2016 championships, Knox Grammar pipe band master Ainsley Hart, said: ‘This is the first time an Australian championships will be live-streamed in what is an exciting advance for pipe bands in this country. We have already had tremendous interest from bands across Australia and from overseas ahead of the August closing date for entries which for the first time are being lodged online. The 2016 championships are maximising contemporary platforms in the celebration of our music that has engaged players and listeners for centuries.’
Tim Kelly, of the Melbourne-based pipebanned.com, said he was excited to be providing the live-stream for Australian championships. ‘My company has been live-streaming brass band contests in Australia and New Zealand for five years and this year we took the New Zealand championships in Fielding to the world in between engagements at corporate and sporting events in Australia,’ he said.
‘Pipe bands have a really friendly and supportive culture that I hope to capture in our stream from the 2016 Australian Championships at Knox Grammar School.’
The livestream schedule will be announced in September.