Highland Games 2024 and a Warning as Two Close Down

Ian K MacDonald, Ontario, at Glenfinnan

If we needed any indication of the fragility of some of our Highland games then we received just that last week with the final announcement that two games, Cupar and Thornton in Fife are now no more.

Lack of cash, volunteers and enthusiasm are to blame. We are not sure if these games had thriving piping events – if not, perhaps that was part of the problem too.

No matter, their demise should not go unheeded and it is for this reason that we say to pipers every year when games season comes around, ‘use them, or lose them’. Large numbers responded last year with very good attendance figures at most events. Let’s keep this going during summer ’24.

You can begin by getting your name down for two games whose entry forms are now live online: Inveraray and Braemar. Both are limited so get in now if you want to play for the illustrious Braemar Gold Medal (eight tunes needed), or Inveraray’s graded events.

Elsewhere, we have this list from the Royal Scottish Games Association. It does not have all details but will enable you to plot your diary in plenty of time for your summer outdoors:

Gordon Castle, May 19th
Blackford, May 25th (jnr. piping)
Atholl Gathering, May 26th
Markinch, June 2nd
Strathmore, June 9th
Aberdeen, June 16th

MacRaeBanner ’19
Ayrshire Bagpipes Nov 2020
shepherd banner ’22

Drumtochty, June 22nd
Ceres, June 29th
Braemar Junior Games, June 29th
Kenmore, July 3rd
Luss, July 6th
Balloch, July 13th
Inveraray, July 16th

Brian Lamond playing for Jimmy Banks at Ceres

Tobermory, July 18th
Lochearnhead, July 20th
Tomintoul, July 20th
Stonehaven, July 21st
Durness, July 26th
Halkirk, July 27th
Airth, July 27th
Dufftown, July 27th
St Andrews, July 28th
Dornoch, August 2nd

Allan Russell at Drumtochty

Newtonmore, August 3rd
Inverkeithing, August 3rd
Aboyne, August 3rd
Mey, August 3rd
Skye Gathering, August 6th/7th
Killin, August 7th
Ballater, August 8th
Assynt, August 9th
Aberfeldy, August 10th
Strathpeffer, August 10th
Perth, August 11th

Junior Champion Arran Green with Convenor Stuart Samson at Blairgowrie Games last year

Tain, August 11th
Helmsdale, August 17th
Crieff, August 18th
Argyllshire Gathering, August 21st/22nd
Lonach, August 24th
Strathardle August 24th
Glenurquhart, August 24th
Birnam, August 31st
Northern Meeting, August 29th/30th
Braemar, September 7th
Blairgowrie, September 8th
Pitlochry, September 14th
Bowhill, September 15th

Sandy Cameron and Dan Lyden the big winners at Braemar 2023

A full summer of outdoor piping amidst some splendid scenery. A wonderful opportunity to boost that track record. Please check dates and the various events before travelling. Some of those listed have only junior piping.

2 thoughts on “Highland Games 2024 and a Warning as Two Close Down

  1. Hiya Rab. Could you perhaps include Arisaig 31 July 2024 and Mallaig-Morar 04 Aug 2024 in this list? Much appreciated.
    Allan J. MacKenzie

  2. Thanks for the advance on dates, really helps to plot out the year considering we are into March already. I met a good number of overseas pipers from NZ, Aus, USA, Germany competing at a couple of the Games last year. They were very enthusiastic for the Highland Games circuit, travelling here specifically for the piping. The recent video of pipe band folk travelling from NZ to Scotland for the worlds only just shows the level of commitment these people are putting into their craft, time, money etc.

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