Piping Inverness – which incorporates the European Pipe Band Championships – has been cancelled for the second year running due to Covid-19.
Organisers said the decision was made following the latest Scottish Government guidance and “uncertainty” around coronavirus restrictions.
The event was scheduled to take place in Inverness’ Bught Park on Saturday, June 26.
In 2019 it attracted more than 17,500 visitors and 100 pipe bands from around the world.
Ian Embelton, chief executive of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association (RSPBA), said: “In response to the current coronavirus outbreak, and after careful consideration and discussions with LCC Live, we have made the decision to cancel the 2021 European Pipe Band Championships.
“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, but it is hoped that LCC Live will be able to extend its contract for a further two years into 2023.
Talks have started with the RSPBA, and LCC Live will be reaching out to other key delivery partners – including Highland Council and Highlife Highland – 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.”