The organisers of Piping Inverness, which incorporates the European Pipe Band Championships, has cancelled this year’s event.
The competition was scheduled to take place on Saturday 26 June, but with uncertainty around COVID-19 restrictions and following the latest Scottish Government guidance, the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association (RSPBA), in partnership with event organiser, LCC Live, has cancelled the annual event.
This is the second year that Piping Inverness and the European Pipe Band Championships have fallen victim to coronavirus. The event, which was scheduled to be hosted in Inverness’ Bught Park, attracted over 17,500 visitors and over 100 pipe bands from around the world, when it last took place in 2019.
Ian Embelton, chief executive of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, said: ‘In response to the current Coronavirus outbreak, and after careful consideration and discussions with LCC Live Events Services Ltd, we have made the decision to cancel the 2021 European Pipe Band Championships in Inverness originally scheduled for Saturday June 26.
‘Our decision is based on the latest guidance from the Scottish Government, as well as advice taken from our key partners.’
LCC Live first hosted Piping Inverness in 2019, as part of a three-year agreement with the RSPBA.
This year’s championships would have been the third and final year of that delivery agreement, and it is hoped that LCC Live will be able to extend its contract for a further two years (2022 and 2023). Talks have started with the RSPBA, and LCC Live will be reaching out to other key delivery partners, in the hope the event can return to Inverness, when it is safe to do so.
Les Kidger, director of LCC Live, said: ‘We’re so disappointed that Piping Inverness, which incorporates the European Pipe Band Championships, won’t be taking place this year. Events like this, take a considerable amount of time to organise, and with so much uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, we have, in partnership with the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, made the decision not to host this year’s event.
‘We are talking to the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association about the possibility of extending our delivery contract into 2022 and 2023, as we’d love to welcome the European Pipe Band Championships back to Inverness. 2019 was a terrific event and brought many thousands of people to the local area and had a huge economic impact on Inverness and the Highlands.’
Les added: ‘We will be reaching out to our delivery partners, including Highland Council and Highlife Highland, in the near future to discuss the possibility of hosting this renowned European event in Inverness and bringing it back for a further two years.’
The European Pipe Band Championships is an annual event, that was last held in June 2019 in Inverness’ Bught Park, under the banner ‘Piping Inverness’.
The one-day event attracted over 17,500 visitors and over 100 pipe bands from around the world, and was organised by Inverness-based event specialist, LCC Live, in association with the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association (RSPBA).
For more details visit www.pipinginverness.com.
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