Piping Live! Is an annual week-long celebration of bagpipes from across the world, embracing Scotland’s heritage and that of piping cultures from around the globe.
Based in Glasgow city centre, it is now celebrating its 20th edition, having been delivered in-person and online continuously since August 2004.
The festival coincides with the World Pipe Band Championships, held annually on Glasgow Green and run by the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association and Glasgow Life.
In 2004, Piping Live! came to the streets of Glasgow, with around 50 events, including sessions in Glasgow bars, recitals and a small number of concerts. From this beginning, the festival has refined its offering to become one of the city's key events in the year. Initially using George Square, then moving to an extended Street Café footprint at The National Piping Centre, it had developed a programme of over 150 events in multiple locations across the city to watch free and ticketed performances.
The 2019 festival attracted over 33,000 visitors across the 9 days and plans were well underway for the 2020 event when the COVID pandemic led to a wholesale rethink of the event. In 2020, a very small festival, with just 6 events, was put on behind closed doors, with a huge amount of COVID-19 safety in place. With restrictions still in place into 2021, it was quickly apparent that a return to an in-person festival would not happen. The festival committee worked against a backdrop of shifting government restrictions to bring a 50-event programme into life for 2021. With restrictions easing on the first full day of the festival, allowing a socially-distanced audience, as well as the online offering, the festival organisers developed a programme that was a mix of live and pre-recorded events to ensure a larger 9-day programme of events that conveyed the spirit of the festival, with around 70 hours of programming available.
The festival in 2022 was able to return with a full canon of events across the 9 days, including returning the Silver Chanter to its home in Skye. Around 100 events took place over the course of the festival, with 50 hours of live stream as part of this. Although the the industry was in the early stages of recovery we attracted under 19,000 in-person attendances across the week, which was added to by around 22,000 online audiences.
We are delighted to be back in 2023 to celebrate our 20th Edition!
We hope that you can consider making a donation to help keep Piping Live! coming back bigger and better!
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