Glasgow pipes up as it welcomes the world’s bagpipers

The world’s biggest piping festival will bring 40,000 visitors from across the globe to Glasgow this week.

Piping Live!, the Glasgow International Piping Festival, runs until Sunday, 19 August, and got underway on Monday with a special performance from the Fountain Trust Pipe Band who travelled over 3600 miles from Ohio to take part in the festival.

The US pipe band, who hail from Covington, Indiana, a small town with a population of 2500, wanted to attend the world’s biggest week of piping before celebrating their 20th anniversary next year.

They launched the festival’s 15th year with a piping hot performance at the steps of Buchanan Galleries before joining the Piping Live! Big Band – a 120-strong group of pipers and drummers who marched from Blythswood Square to City Chambers in aid of the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).

Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival attracts over 40,000 music fans, families and tourists to the city from across the globe – including Oman, Canada, New Zealand and USA – to enjoy 140 events and 8000 performers.

This year’s programme will bring some of the biggest names in trad music to Glasgow, with acts including Breabach, and Ross Ainslie, Finlay MacDonald topping the bill and many more set to perform. The programme will also see performances by the very best international acts and numerous events including the fiercely contested Master Solo, International Quartet and Pipe Idol competitions.

Fountain Trust Pipe Major, Campbell White said: ‘We’re delighted to be part of Piping Live!. It’s our first time in Scotland and to be here to participate in an event of this calibre is a huge honour. It’s definitely worth travelling across the world for – I’m sure it’ll be a festival to remember.’

Roddy McLeod, director of Piping Live! said: ‘Piping Live! one of the biggest event’s in Scotland’s cultural calendar and we’re thrilled to be celebrating our 15th year with such a stellar line-up, including the Fountain Trust Pipe Band, who are joining us for the first time.

‘We’ve got a fun filled week of entertainment and activities for everyone, with headline performances from trad heavyweights and first-time performers to the fiercely contested Masters Solo Piping Competition and our come and try sessions at The National Piping Centre.

‘We’ve also added new events to our programme this year, such as the Ceòl nam Pìobairean, a celebration of the music of the highlands at Drygate. And as always, we’ll be ending our celebrations on a high note with the After Worlds Shindig. See you at Piping Live!’

Glasgow’s Lord Provost Eva Bolander said: ‘Glasgow comes alive to the sound of the bagpipes when Piping Live gets underway bringing top class musicians to the city to perform. It is a chance to experience unique and spellbinding music that will build memories that last a lifetime. Many of the people performing are under 25 and this event, along with the World Pipe Band Championships, cements Glasgow’s reputation as the World’s capital of Piping.’

Weekend highlights of this year’s Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival include:

The After World’s Shindig (Saturday 18th, National Piping Centre)

The Gordon Duncan Memorial Competition and Battlefield Band (Sunday 19th, National Piping Centre) wrap up Piping Live! in style.

The World Pipe Band Championships will also return to Glasgow Green on 18 and 19 August and will welcome 214 bands who will fight it out for the ultimate title of World Champions. Bands are coming from as far afield as New Zealand, Australia, Canada, USA, and South Africa as well as from across Europe to compete.

The first ever World Pipe Band Championships was held at Murrayfield in Edinburgh in 1947. The event was first held in Glasgow in 1948 and has been staged in the city continuously since 1986. Tickets and further information is available via

Tickets for Piping Live! are on sale now HERE.