As pipe bands prepare for a busy season of competitions in 2022, organisers of ‘Piping Inverness’, which incorporates the European Pipe Band Championships, are set to welcome a strong turnout next year, writes Jen Symington.
After a two-year absence from major competitions, pipe bands from across the globe are ‘desperate’ to get back competing. Piping Inverness will give them the opportunity to compete when it takes place at Bught Park, Inverness on Saturday 25th June 2022.
Tickets for the event are now on sale and available to purchase from the website (www.pipinginverness.com) and Caffery’s Menswear, Eastgate Shopping Centre, Inverness.
The one-day event is expected to attract over five thousand pipers and drummers to compete across several Grades, with around 15,000 visitors.
In its inaugural year, Piping Inverness was hailed as an outstanding success, with organisers having attracted over 17,500 visitors and bands from around the world, including Australia and America. The 2022 Championship is set to mirror the same attendance.
Over 100 bands are expected to compete for the prestigious title of European Champions, which is judged by the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association (RSPBA).
Kevin Reilly, Chairman of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, said: ‘After an absence of two years, there’s excitement and anticipation about the European Pipe Band Championships – bands are desperate to get back competing.
‘We are optimistic that bands will embrace the return of major competitions, and that Piping Inverness will attract a similar crowd to 2019. That was one of the best competitions we’ve ever hosted, so we can’t wait to return to Inverness.’
In addition to the piping competition, there will also be Highland dance competitions, live entertainment, traditional craft stalls and food and drink outlets.
Piping Inverness is being organised by Inverness-based event specialist LCC Live, following a successful bid to the RSPBA.
LCC Live is to deliver the European Pipe Band Championships in 2022 and 2023, having won a three-year tender back in 2018. LCC Live successfully delivered the inaugural Piping Inverness in 2019.
The tender was originally for 2019, 2020 and 2021, but the 2020 and 2021 events couldn’t take place due to Covid-19. The final two events will now be hosted in 2022 and 2023.
The European Pipe Band Championships in 2019 generated a multi-million-pound boost to the local economy, as well as raising the profile of the city of Inverness as a venue for major events. Its return is being welcomed.
The Provost of Inverness, Councillor Helen Carmichael, said: ‘It’s great news that tickets are now available and I am sure all the pipe bands taking part are busy rehearsing and looking forward to entertaining the spectators and impressing the judges.
‘These Championships are going to raise the profile of Inverness and the Highlands, and we look forward to extending a very warm welcome to visitors and competitors. The event will also provide a very welcomed boost to the local economy. I know demand for tickets will be high, so I encourage people to apply now to avoid disappointment.’
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