World's largest pipe music festival kicks off with colourful march

Piping Live! brings some of the world's best renowned musicians to Glasgow for the largest celebration of its kind.

Hundreds of pipers marched through the streets of Glasgow to celebrate the full return of the largest music festival of its kind for the first time since the Covid pandemic.

Around 30,000 people are expected to visit events during Piping Live! before the culmination of the event on Sunday.

The festival, which attracts musicians from as far afield as Canada and the United States, features the World Pipe Band Championships at Glasgow Green, but also includes a programme of classes and live performances.

Pipers donning yellow t-shirts celebrating the Beatson Cancer Charity – the partner of this year’s event – marched from Blythswood Square to George Square as part of the “Big Band” launch.

Finlay MacDonald, artistic director for Piping Live!, said: “It’s always a proud moment to lead the Piping Live! Big Band through the streets of Glasgow.

“The collaboration of people of all ages, and the eagerness of those less experienced to get involved, is truly heartwarming to see and such a fitting start to the festival.”

The event was among hundreds to fall victim to the pandemic shutdown, but virtual audiences will still be able to watch on from afar through a special live streaming service.

Finlay added: “The Big Band parade is always a highlight of the festival, and I’ve missed it greatly these last two years. As a player and a teacher, it’s fantastic to be back amongst the music and the rhythm.

“Performing with a 150-strong pipe band in one of Scotland’s most famous and celebrated cities is an experience unlike any other, and it’s made all the better knowing we are raising money for an amazing charity like Beatson Cancer Charity too.”

The World Pipe Band Championships takes place at Glasgow Green on Friday, August 12 and Saturday, August 13.

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