In another devastating blow to the piping and pipe band season, the promoters of the Northern Meeting, one of the two top solo events in world piping, have, with reluctance, been forced to cancel their event for 2020.
The Meetings, held every summer in Inverness, were due to take place on August 20/20. In a statement today they said: ‘This is to let you know that, with much regret, the Northern Meeting Piping Committee has decided to cancel this year’s competition in view if the coronavirus pandemic.
‘Although the competition is still some months away we feel that it is unrealistic to expect conditions to change sufficiently to give us confidence that running it in the normal way would be considered safe, and we do not wish to prolong the uncertainty around it for longer.
‘Let’s hope that some measure of normality will have returned by next year and we hope to welcome you all back to Inverness then.’
Today’s news follows cancellations of all pipe band championships for 2020, including the Worlds, the Piping Live! festival, the Worlds Week concert to be given by Inveraray PB (now scheduled for 2021) and a raft of Highland games.
The other main world event in solo piping, the Argyllshire Gathering, said they were keeping their situation under review. The Gathering is scheduled for August 26 and 27. A spokesman said: ‘We will, as always, be guided by Government recommendations and the need for the health and safety of all contestants, judges, stewards and audience.
‘Our piping committee and Stewards of the Gathering are keeping the situation under close review.’
It remains to be seen whether the Argyllshire and other games such as Skye (August 4/5) and Braemar (September 5) will survive the cull.