Piping Live! x Forty Clothing

Piping Live! and Glasgow designer collaborate on bespoke bagpipe design to highlight mental health awareness

Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival has teamed up with one of Glasgow’s top designers. While the brief was to create a cool new bag cover for bagpipes which aided comfort for the player, an inspired idea to incorporate a hidden mental health message in the cover aligned with the festival’s aim to support SAMH, the Scottish Association of Mental Health.

Each year Piping Live! is opened with the Big Band – a spectacular parade which sees players of all abilities, from piping novices to world champions, march through the streets of Glasgow to raise money for Piping Live’s chosen charity. This year, the Big Band will take to the streets in aid of the Scottish Association of Mental Health (SAMH), Scotland’s leading mental health charity, which offers mental health social care support across Scotland.

Owner of Forty clothing, Harry Miller, and his team have created the bespoke cover using a specially-made reflective material to create a hidden message on the bag, which is only visible when a photo is taken with the flash on.

The final design will be unveiled on the first day of Piping Live! when it returns to Glasgow from 13-19 August, bringing over 50,000 music fans, families and tourists to the city to enjoy 200 events and 8,000 performers.

The collaboration is part of Piping Live!’s #MomentsThatMatter campaign, which celebrates bagpipes being at the heart of so many of life’s big moments.  This year’s campaign theme is based around VisitScotland’s Year of Young People, which celebrates the very best of Scotland and its young people through a year-long programme of cultural activities.

Since many young adults who are battling mental health issues turn to music as a way of self-expression, Piping Live! is inviting them to be part of the piping community, whether that be signing up to take part in the Big Band, attending one of the many concerts on offer such as Fred Morrison, Assynt or Hamish Napier, or celebrating the music of the highlands and the language of Piping at the Ceòl nam Pìobairean, Piping Live! has something for everyone. The festival is also encouraging pipers to share their stories and the positive impact that being part of a pipe band has had on their lives.

Roddy MacLeod Festival Director of Piping Live said;

“We’re thrilled to bring back the Piping Live! Big Band which, this year, is in association with SAMH. Mental health is a huge topic for us at Piping Live! and we feel strongly about encouraging young people to talk openly about their mental health.

“Harry is so passionate in what he does, a quality that is shared by the pipers who participate in Piping Live! or the fans that travel across the world for the festival. We look forward to welcoming everyone to this year’s festival – whether you’re an experienced piper or someone who is looking to try something new – there’s an opportunity for everyone to take part in Piping Live!”

 Harry Miller, Owner of Forty said;

 “We’re excited to be joining forces with the team at Piping Live! to help tackle the stigma around mental health in young people.  It’s an honour to be asked to collaborate with Piping Live! Mental health is something that is incredibly close to my heart. Their partnership with SAMH for the Big Band project is a great opportunity for everyone to get involved with Piping Live! whilst raising awareness of an issue that affects so many young people.

“The design of the bag is symbolic of how someone suffering from mental health problems can look perfectly happy on the outside or on social media but on the inside, it can often be a different story. I can’t wait to unveil the final design at Piping Live! next month – see you then.”

Sign up for the Piping Live! Big Band Partnership here

Tickets for Piping Live! are on sale now via www.pipinglive.co.uk

Piping Live at Festival 2018

As you may know, Piping Live! won’t be taking place in George Square this year, as the iconic space will host Festival 2018 during the 2018 European Championships. However, we will be returning to our usual hub for one day only as part of the event, so be sure to join us there on Friday 3 August!

Piping Live! presents… The National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland and Friends
Join The National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland and two other young pipe bands as they parade through the streets of Glasgow. Once they arrive in George Square, they will hold come and try sessions where you can try the bagpipes and drums, as well as putting on performances on the stage.

Venue: George Square
Date: Friday 3 August
Time: 12noon-5pm
More information

Festival 2018 is the fun-filled cultural programme of the Glasgow 2018 European Championships. Find out more at www.festival2018glasgow.com

Thunderstruck – A New Play by David Colvin

A New Play by David Colvin
Directed by Tom Freeman

The National Piping Centre
Sunday 19th August (16.00)
Ages 12+

“9 Notes! What can I do with 9 notes? Let’s see.”

Thunderstruck is the true story of Gordon Duncan; one of the greatest bagpipers who ever lived. An interactive, one man theatrical extravaganza that explores the history, strict traditions and culture surrounding bagpipe music and how one man rocked the bagpiping world to its’ core, and changed the life of one young piper, forever. It is an original and exciting journey through a world lesser known by the average audience member, featuring a host of characters and a live multi-instrumentalist three piece band. Take whatever romantic notion you have about bagpipes and leave them at the door.

Tickets: £15 (£12.50 concessions) – subject to booking fee

Advance tickets are sold out for this event. Limited tickets will be available on the door.

Contestants announced for Pipe Idol 2018

Pipe Idol 2017 winner Robbie MacIsaac


Pipe Idol is back for 2018! This year’s competition features top young international talent with players from Scotland, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, the United States 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 16th August 2018. Pipe Idol is sponsored by Fred Morrison Pipes.

Competing in this year’s competition:

Monday 13th August (15.30)
1) Marshall Allan, Scotland
2) Bobby Allen, Scotland
3) Luke Kennedy, Scotland
4) Ciaren Ross, Scotland

Tuesday 14th August (15.30)
1) Callum Carn, New Zealand
2) Louis Newman, New Zealand
3) Douglas Mair, Scotland
4) Lewis MacDonald, New Zealand

Wednesday 15th August (15.30)
1) Hamish Reade, New Zealand
2) Christopher Happs, Scotland
3) Joseph Horwath, USA
4) Ryan Cupples-Menendez, Northern Ireland

Thursday 16th August (12.00)
1) James Stone, Republic of Ireland
2) Eosaph Caimbeul, Scotland
3) Anna Smart, New Zealand
4) Lewis Russell, 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 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

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 on Wednesday night! The concert was recorded for Pipeline on BBC Radio Scotland, so be sure to tune in on Saturday night from 9.05pm if you couldn’t join us in person. Gary West chatted to Roddy MacLeod about this year’s festival highlights, and there were performances from Ross Ainslie & Steven ByrnesGlasgow Police Pipe Band (pictured) and Cameron Drummond, so it’s sure to be a great show!

Visit the Pipeline website

Lunchtime Recital line-up revealed

The Piping Live! Lunchtime Recital series returns to The National Piping Centre for 2018 with another fantastic line up: Bruce Gandy, Willie McCallum and Ian K MacDonald.

Bruce Gandy
Tuesday 14th August (1pm)
Bruce Gandy, from Halifax, Nova Scotia has won many of the top prizes in solo piping and pipe bands, including the World Pipe Band Championships with the 78th Fraser Highlanders.
Buy tickets

Willie McCallum
Wednesday 15th August (1pm)
One of the all time greats of solo piping, Willie McCallum is a record-holding 8-time Glenfiddich Champion.
Buy tickets

Ian K MacDonald
Thursday 16th August (1pm)
The double Gold Medal winning Ian K MacDonald from Toronto. He achieved the “The Double” in 2016 winning both the Argyllshire Gathering and Northern Meeting Gold Medals in the same year.
Buy tickets

Join us at The National Piping Centre to hear a wonderful hour of recital from some of the world’s best players. Tickets for each Lunchtime Recital are priced at £7.50 (£6 concessions) plus booking fee and are available to purchase now from TicketWeb.

After Worlds Shindig: Hamish Napier & Assynt

Piping Live’s After Worlds Shindig will see two of Scotland’s most exciting trad acts, Hamish Napier and Assynt, take to the stage at The National Piping Centre to share new music in a special late night concert.

Originally from Strathspey in the Scottish Highlands, Hamish Napier has been an integral part of Glasgow’s vibrant folk music scene for over a decade. He’ll share tunes from his new album The Railway (2018).

Assynt are a new folk trio featuring David Shedden (pipes/whistles), Graham Mackenzie (fiddle) and Innes White (guitar/mandolin). 2018 sees the release of their debut album Road to the North.

The perfect way to round off a day on Glasgow Green for the World Pipe Band Championships – join us!

Date: Saturday 18th August 2018
Doors: 9.30pm
: The National Piping Centre

Tickets on sale now

Piping Live! Big Band 2018







The Piping Live! Big Band is BACK for 2018!

Now in it’s third year, we want the biggest band yet, to help us support a very important charity – the Scottish Association of Mental Health – or SAMH. Music and playing an instrument can improve mental health and being part of a group like a pipe band can give opportunities to talk and connect with people. So we are delighted to be supporting SAMH to promote good mental health, and awareness of Mental Health problems, with our Big Band fundraising this year.

So we want YOU to be part of this year’s Big Band. Its for all ages of player, all stages of piping, drumming and drum majoring!

Find out more 

Piping Live! Pre-Festival Party

Picture Copyright: Chris Watt www.chriswatt.com


Piping Live! will be presenting a fantastic pre-festival party to get you in the spirit of the Summer! Join us at The National Piping Centre from 7.30pm on Wednesday 13th June and hear a flavour of this year’s festival including Glasgow Police Pipe Band, Ross Ainslie and Steve Byrne and more. This event is being recorded by BBC Pipeline programme for broadcast at a subsequent date. 

Tickets are only £5 (+ BF) but are limited so get yours now!

This event is Over 18s only.

Get tickets

Piping Live! rolls out the Tartan Carpet

Piping Live! rolls out the tartan carpet to welcome fans from around the world. The world’s biggest week of piping is set to host 40,000 fans in Glasgow this summer. 

Picture Copyright: Chris Watt www.chriswatt.com

A bespoke tartan carpet transformed Glasgow’s Buchanan Street today, Wednesday 16th May, to unveil the headliners of this year’s Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival and The World Pipe Band Championships, which both return to the city 13 – 19 August 2019.

Now in its 15th year, Piping Live! is the biggest festival of its kind – each year attracting over 40,000 music fans, families and tourists from around the globe to watch more than 5,000 pipers perform at 150 events across the city.

Some of the hottest names in traditional music are set to perform, including Finlay MacDonald, Anxo Lorenzo and Ross Ainslie. Also joining the bill will be thrilling folk five-piece, Breabach, who are fresh from an Australian and UK tour and are set perform a blistering set at the BBC’s Biggest Weekend.

The programme will feature performances by the very best international acts, from countries including New Zealand, Brazil, Canada and Scotland and will also see the return of the fiercely contested Master 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 week.

The World Pipe Band Championships are the pinnacle of competitive Pipe Band competition and are organised on behalf of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association by the City of Glasgow. The current World Champions are Inveraray and District Pipe Band.

The first ever World Pipe Band Championships were held in Edinburgh in 1947. The event was first held in Glasgow in 1948 and has been staged in the city continuously since 1986. So far over 140 bands have already declared they will take part with entries remaining open until 4 July.

Tickets for the World Pipe Band Championships, which are being held at Glasgow Green on 17 and 18 August, are on sale now.

Roddy MacLeod, Festival Director of Piping Live! said: “For the last 15 years we have celebrated the diverse sound of pipes by bringing the very best musicians from across the world to Glasgow. We’re thrilled that the festival has continued to grow and gain momentum year in, year out – something we’re keen to build on for 2018.

“There really is something for everyone at Piping Live! – we have a week packed with incredible performances and family fun, which is why we’re inviting everyone to enjoy the electric atmosphere of the festival first-hand.  See you there!”

Finlay MacDonald, performing at this year’s Piping Live!, said: “There is a real passion for folk music in Scotland and there’s no better place to perform than on home soil at the biggest celebration of piping in the world.”

Piping Live! and The World Pipe Band Championships are supported by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “Piping Live! is a fantastic week-long celebration of one of Scotland’s most iconic instruments and sounds. The festival continues to go from strength to strength and this year is no different with another stellar line-up of international and home-grown acts guaranteed to entertain audiences all week long.

“Scotland is the perfect stage for piping events and festivals and EventScotland is delighted to be continuing its support of Piping Live! in 2018.”

For your chance of an exclusive taster of this year’s Piping Live!, join us at the live recording for BBC Pipeline show on Wednesday 13th June at the National Piping Centre. The piping hot line-up includes Ross Ainslie, Steven Byrnes and Glasgow Police Pipe Band, tickets are on sale now via www.pipinglive.co.uk

Tickets for Piping Live! are on sale now via www.pipinglive.co.uk