Piping Live! Launch World’s First Piping Jukebox in Glasgow – with a live piper inside!

Picture by Chris James

Danny Hutcheson will play a selection of chart hits and special requests in interactive booth

Jukebox will be situated on corner of Buchanan Street and Gordon Street from 11.30am-1.30pm on Tuesday 23rd July

The world’s first interactive Piping Jukebox, complete with live piper inside, will visit Glasgow’s Buchanan Street tomorrow (23rd July) from 11:30am until 1:30pm, giving the public a taste of what to expect from this year’s Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival.

Crowds will be treated to piping hot renditions of Lewis Capaldi’s number 1 single Someone You Loved and Piping Live! 2019 headliner Dougie MacLean’s Caledonia, among many other favourites before being invited to select the genre of the next song.

Situated at the corner of Buchanan Street and Gordon Street, the bespoke Piping Live! Jukebox is 8ft tall and features the official tartan of the National Piping Centre. With mock speakers and a coin slot, the Jukebox is designed to bring back memories of traditional jukeboxes. Five buttons on the front allow the public to select which genre they’d like to hear next.

The bagpipes will be played by Danny Hutcheson, a hotly-tipped young piper and previous Pipe Idol competition finalist. Danny will also perform in an Emerging Talent slot at the Piping Live! Street Café at the National Piping Centre on 14th August. A number of pop stars have duetted with pipers in recent years, including Tom Walker and Ed Sheeran. Other celebrity fans of the bagpipes include Sir Billy Connolly, Ewan McGregor, Sir Alex Ferguson, and the Queen.

Piping Live! returns to Glasgow on 10 – 18 August 2019 with headliners featuring Dougie MacLean, Tryst, Dàimh and Lúnasa, among others. Now in its 16th year, Piping Live! is the biggest festival of its kind, attracting over 40,000 music fans, families and tourists from all around the globe to watch more than 5,000 pipers perform at 150 events across the city. This year’s programme features performances by the very best international acts from countries including New Zealand, Malaysia, Canada and Scotland, and sees the return of the fiercely-contested Masters Solo, International Quartet and Pipe Idol competitions. In addition, there will be daily performances, family fun and the hugely popular Street Café will return to The National Piping Centre for the festival.

Roddy MacLeod, Festival Director of Piping Live! said: “From the latest chart hits, to the best known rock tunes and traditional Scottish folk, our Piping Jukebox shows the versatility of the pipes and offers a taste of what’s to come at Piping Live! Our programme is just as eclectic as the Jukebox’s songbook and we welcome everyone to come and experience all the festival fun with us when it takes place between 10 – 18 August.”

Gig in the Gallery: Performances at Kelvingrove

New for Piping Live! 2019, we’re delighted to present performances from a selection of international players in the Central Hall of Glasgow’s iconic Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum during this year’s festival.  Taking place at 2pm daily from Monday 12th – Friday 16th August, these performances are free to attend, and will celebrate the diversity of pipe music throughout the world. We joined Finlay MacDonald as he tested the sound in the venue – here’s a sneak preview of what you can expect!

The full line-up for the series is:

Monday: Irish Piping with Uilleann piper Jarlath Henderson
Tuesday: Swedish Piping with Nordic drone duo Dråm
Wednesday: Highland Piping with Glenfiddich Champion Finlay Johnston
Thursday: Asturian Piping with the R. Alba Duo
Friday: Border Piping with Finlay MacDonald

Specsavers announced as Festival Sponsor for Piping Live! 2019

Piping Live! is delighted to announce that Specsavers will be a new sponsor for the sixteenth edition of the festival this year.

As part of the sponsorship, Specsavers will be running two talks about hearing protection and its importance for musicians as part of this year’s festival programme. These will take place in The National Piping Centre Auditorium on Wednesday 14th and Thursday 15th August at 12noon. Specsavers will also offer free hearing tests at the Street Cafe throughout the week.

Roddy MacLeod, Piping Live! Festival Director said: “We are delighted to welcome Specsavers as sponsors for Piping Live! 2019. Hearing and hearing protection is so important to pipers and drummers that we feel this is a natural connection and will bring some fantastic additions to the Piping Live! programme.”

Jill McArthur, divisional chairperson for Specsavers Scotland, said: “We are delighted to be sponsor of this year’s Piping Live! in Glasgow. With bands from all over the world coming to Glasgow, this is a real showcase event.

The impact that music has on our lives can be incredible and as part of Specsavers’ offering we also offer hearing checks as well as eye tests.

Enjoying music is both a visual and audio experience so we know how important it is to ensure that both eyes and ears are checked on a regular basis to enjoy them to the fullest. This is sure to be a spectacular event and we are excited to be a part of it.”

Fans asked to pipe up with favourite memories of bagpipes

Piping Live! releasing limited edition t-shirt featuring fans’ names and stories

Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival are asking fans from across the globe to submit their fondest piping memories – giving them chance to become part of the festival’s history and have their story printed on the official Piping Live! 2019 festival T-shirt, available to buy when the event returns from 10 – 18 August 2019.

As part of the festival’s Sounds of a Lifetime campaign, the festival decided to help the public wear their heart (and words) on their sleeves by printing the names and stories of those whose lives have been moved by the pipes on this year’s event merchandise. The T-shirt will be available at this year’s festival and online at www.pipinglive.co.uk

Piping fans can submit their stories by email to pipinglivememories@gmail.com or by contacting Piping Live! on social media via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. There will also be a Piping Memories Book available to be signed at the reception of The National Piping Centre, McPhater Street, Glasgow. The closing date for stories will be Wednesday 17th July. Those with the best stories will have a chance of winning tickets to see some of the festival’s headline shows, including Dougie MacLean, Tryst, Dàimh and Lúnasa.

Piping Live! will return to the city 10 – 18 August 2019. Now in its 16th year, Piping Live! is the biggest festival of its kind, attracting over 40,000 music fans, families and tourists who travel from around the globe to watch more than 5,000 pipers perform at 150 events across the city.

This year’s programme features performances by the very best international acts from countries including New Zealand, Malaysia, Canada and Scotland, and will also see the return of the fiercely contested Masters Solo, International Quartet and Pipe Idol competitions. In addition, there will be daily performances, family fun and the hugely popular Street Café will return to The National Piping Centre for the festival.

Roddy MacLeod, Festival Director of Piping Live! said: “From wedding ceremonies to graduations, the pipes are the soundtrack to so many of the most momentous events of our lives. Whether it was hearing a fantastic performance at a previous Piping Live!, or listening to the sound of the pipes as you welcomed the new year with loved ones, we want to hear stories about the special moments the pipes have been there with you.”

Happy Canada Day!

As celebrations get underway around the world for Canada Day, we thought we’d shine a spotlight on some of the fantastic Canadian talent featured in this year’s Piping Live! programme. Read more to discover some of the highlights:


Registration now open for the Piping Live! Big Band 2019


The Piping Live! Big Band is BACK for 2019! Taking place on the morning of Monday 12th August, the Big Band will parade through the centre of Glasgow and help kickstart this year’s festival in style. Now in its fourth year, the Big Band is open to pipers, drummers and chanter players of all levels, and we’d love for you to join us and help make it our best year yet!

This year, the Piping Live! Big Band will take place in aid of the Heart of Scotland Appeal from Heart Research UK. This is a fundraising appeal to raise and spend money in Scotland on vital medical research into the prevention, treatment and cure heart disease.

Roddy MacLeod, Director of Piping Live! and Big Band Pipe Major said: “We are delighted that through Piping Live! we are able to help raise funds for such an important charity which helps people across Scotland. I can’t wait for another great event!”

Find out more and register via the link below to be part of something special at Piping Live! 2019.

Enter Now

Contestants announced for Pipe Idol 2019

Pipe Idol 2018 winner Hamish Reade and Fred Morrison

Pipe Idol is back for 2019! This year’s competition features top young international talent with players from Scotland, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand vying for the title.

Each day, four competitors will play a March, Strathspey and Reel, a four-part Hornpipe and Jig, and a musical selection of no more than five minutes in front of a live audience and a hidden panel of judges in the Street Cafe at The National Piping Centre. The winner of each round will go on the compete in the Grand Final, held at the Strathclyde Suite at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Thursday 15th August 2019. Pipe Idol is sponsored by Fred Morrison Pipes.

Competing in this year’s competition:

Monday 12th August (15.30)
1) Aiden Bestwick, Australia
2) Luke Kennedy, Scotland
3) Liam MacDonald, Canada
4) Lewis Russell, Scotland

Tuesday 13th August (15.30)
1) Filemon Tan, USA
2) Jamie Brownlie, Scotland
3) Martin McPhee, New Zealand
4) Brodie Watson-Massey, Scotland

Wednesday 14th August (15.30)
1) Bobby Allen, Scotland
2) Anna Smart, New Zealand
3) Chris Happs, Scotland
4) Ryan Cupples-Menendez, Northern Ireland

Thursday 15th August (12.00)
1) Joseph Horwath, USA
2) Éosaph Campbell, Scotland
3) James Stone, Ireland
4) Finlay Frame, Scotland

Open to young pipers aged 21 or under on the day of the Grand Final, the competition is a valuable stepping stone for solo pipers hoping to compete on the world stage. Previous winners of the competition include Hamish Reade (2018), Robbie MacIsaac (2017), Callum Craib (2016), Scott Barrie (2015), Calum Brown (2014), Angus J. MacColl (2013), Connor Sinclair (2012), Sarah Muir (2011) and Alex Gandy (2010). Good luck to all of the competitors!

Buy tickets for the Grand Final

Pipe Band Practices at Otago Street during Piping Live!

Is your pipe band looking for a practice space during Piping Live! in the run up to the World Pipe Band Championships? We have spaces to offer at The National Piping Centre Otago Street in Glasgow’s West End each day!

For a donation to the festival, bands can use the space for a 1.5 hour practice from 10am – 11.30am then 12noon – 1.30pm from Monday 12th – Friday 16th August.

If your band would like to use this facility, please contact marketing@thepipingcentre.co.uk to book these spaces through the week. Its first come, first served, so be quick!

Learn @ Live!

We’re delighted to announce  a brand new workshop series from the Piping Live! team:  Learn@Live! Set to take place at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland on Wednesday 14th and Thursday 15th August, Learn@Live! will feature two full days of workshops looking at topics across the spectrum of Piping and Drumming. This is a great way to learn more about your craft, find out about a new style of music or look more closely at a particular topic. Workshops will be lead by some of the top names in piping and drumming including: Richard Parkes & Keith Orr, Murray & Patricia Henderson, Ali Hutton & Ross Ainslie, and Steven McWhirter.

To view the full line-up, visit the event pages on the link below:
Learn at Live! – Wednesday 14th August
Learn at Live! – Thursday 15th August

Each workshop is £10 to attend and places can be booked online in advance via Eventbrite. The event is supported by the William Grant Foundation.

Piping Live! Pre-Festival Party on Pipeline

The countdown to this year’s festival is officially underway after The National Piping Centre hosted the Piping Live! Pre-Festival Party last Thursday night! During the event, Gary West chatted to Roddy MacLeod about this year’s festival highlights, and there were performances from Jarlath Henderson & Innes Watson, Iain Speirs, North Lanarkshire Schools Pipe Band and Hecla. The concert was recorded for Pipeline on BBC Radio Scotland, and you can listen to the performances online here until Monday 15th July. Enjoy!