Worlds Grade 1 Qualifiers Announced, ‘Brolly Wars’ Discussed and Drones Banned!

The Qualifying Heats for the Grade 1 World Pipe Band Championship were held today at a blustery but ultimately dry Glasgow Green. Pic above is of the 78th Fraser Highlanders who unfortunately didn’t make it to the final. 

Twenty bands were vying for 12 places in tomorrow’s final. Those who made it through, in playing order for tomorrow, were:

Glasgow Police
Fife Police
Dowco Triumph Street
St Laurence O’Toole
Vale of Atholl
Field Marshal Montgomery
Scottish Power

Those who didn’t make it were Buchan Peterson, Toronto Police (Canada), Auckland & District (NZ), Bleary, Ravara, Peel Police (Canada), 78th Fraser Highlanders (Canada) and Johnstone. Get summaries here. As a consolation these bands get free tickets to tomorrow’s event.

The editor writes: ‘What started off as a wet and blustery day ended dry and warm with the later bands getting the benefit. I heard the afternoon performances in Arena 1 and all the top outfits were clearly on form but with enjoyable music from the bands worrying about making it through. Of those who didn’t make it I heard Johnstone, Ravara, Peel and the 78th. Ravara suffer in numbers or lack of, but produced some very pleasant listening in their medley. Johnstone had good drones but the medley is way too complicated and just lacks impact.

‘Peel had some very indifferent tunes in their set. 78th opener was so nondescript I don’t know where to begin and the bass boomed throughout. Bands from overseas who are coming to the Worlds need to make sure their medley tunes have instant impact. Home bands have two or three opportunities to familiarise judges with their new music. Overseas bands most probably do not.

Johnstone Pipe Band….way too complicated medley

‘It is very tough on those who don’t make it through, especially those who have travelled long distances to get to Glasgow. I don’t know what the answer is. A 20 band two-run contest is too large to cram into the one day we are told. Tomorrow the final starts at 10am with the MSR. Maybe if the Medley began right after the MSR it could be done. That way no one would miss out on the main event in the Saturday.

‘On a logistics note the Grade 1 arena seemed further away from the front facing stand than normal though I was assured it was actually closer than last year. I would have lost money on that one. Side stand was better for listening.

The distance from the front row of seating and the circle

‘Tomorrow we will hear the best bands in the world and the winners will have been judged by a total of 16 different judges. Anyone making that list is worthy of the highest praise and the winners will be beyond question the best band in the world.

Our Special Correspondent adds: ‘We all love a good ‘elf and safety story, especially if it is connected, however tenuously, to pipe bands.
We witnessed ‘umbrellagate’ in the seated Grade 1 Arena this morning, with a steward (who was simply following orders) telling folks nicely that umbrellas must be put down, just as the MSR segment was reaching the end and the rain was falling liberally. The reason was unclear and could have been, blocking the view, blocking the cameras or whatever.

‘I suspect it was most likely ‘you could have someone’s eye out with that’. Apparently the warning was ‘on the back of the ticket’ – it wasn’t. So a tweet from the Worlds’ organisation was issued at 1pm, reiterating the bag search security and a lengthy list of banned items. Hilariously, it included ‘drones’ (the flying type hopefully) and unofficial tabards and reflective clothing (one can only wonder).

‘Interestingly, ‘Umbrellas within the Grade 1 Seating area’ featured at the bottom of the list. So, those carrying umbrellas would have to leave them outside the seating area, along with disallowed beer, puppies and unwanted family members. Two of those I threw in for effect. Or stand outside. I’d venture that many had umbrellas with them – it’s August, it’s Glasgow it’s summer …. so be warned

‘The long and short of it is, if you are joining the throng tomorrow, and intend to sit in the Arena 1 stands, leave the umbrella in the car or at home. Ditch the lycra and fluorescent jacket. Don’t bother with the barbecue, vuvuzela, kites, spray paint, aerosols (which might be an insult in Scandinavia) or ‘professional camera’ (surely that is dependant upon the operator),  and plan on getting there early, as the lines to get in (even those with tickets) were somewhat glacial in pace. Fortunately, Mr Blue(ish) Sky might make a guest appearance on Saturday, and the weather will be less inclement.’

Glasgow City Council’s website has listed the following as Prohibited Items for the Worlds. So judges, no marks for good sound and no deductions if drones go off! Here’s the list:

Any item that could be considered a weapon, including multi-tools:
Barbeques and other cooking devices
Glass bottles/jars/containers,
Professional camera/video/audio equipment,
Portable laser equipment,
Laser pens,
Gas or smoke devices
Air horns,
Spray paint cans,
Aerosols over 250ml,
Sound systems,
Unofficial tabards and reflective jackets,
Umbrellas within the Grade 1 seating area,

All of the above items are not allowed into the arena and will be confiscated upon entry.

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6 thoughts on “Worlds Grade 1 Qualifiers Announced, ‘Brolly Wars’ Discussed and Drones Banned!

  1. What about a 1b group competition comprised of those that didn’t make the G1 qualifier. At least in that way they get to play again on the weekend. The fans get to see some great bands a second time too. Disappointing for sure but for those that travelled so far a second opportunity for a play and a consolation prize. Just a thought.

    1. I agree Hugh and I’ve proposed this in the past. The problem is adjudication it seems but I know of two judges not on duty tomorrow. Maybe the RSPBA will give it a second thought.

      1. Maybe some of the senior adjudicator retired due to age but still in my opinion fit to judge that would be pleased to do that, if lack of adjudicators is a problem.

        1. Great idea David. There were three very fit looking men on duty for the last time in the G1 arena this afternoon. I am sure the G1b bands would be more than happy to play for them, yourself and others. For the Canadian and NZ bands it is a helluva way to come not to be involved on the Sat.

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