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The pipes (and drums) are calling to city once again with dates for Piping Inverness incorporating the European Pipe Band Championships in 2022 and 2023


By Neil MacPhail

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Les Kidger at Bught Park where Piping Inverness will be staged next year. Picture: Gary Anthony
Les Kidger at Bught Park where Piping Inverness will be staged next year. Picture: Gary Anthony

THE pipes and drums are blasting back to Inverness, bringing a major money-spinning boost to tourism and the Highland economy.

After an absence of two years due to the pandemic, Piping Inverness incorporating the European Pipe Band Championships will return next summer.

Les Kidger, who is among the organisers, said: “It’s been a difficult couple of years for the events and music industry, but we do see light at the end of the tunnel and are therefore making plans for a series of events and concerts next summer – including Piping Inverness.”

Piping Inverness will take place on Saturday, June 25 and tickets are due to go on sale in the coming weeks.

The all-day event will see a massive influx of pipe bands, their supporters, Highland dancers, as well as tourists, to Bught Park to create a fun day out for all the family.

The inaugural Piping Inverness in 2019 attracted more than 17,500 visitors and more than 100 pipe bands from around the world, including Australia and America.

Inverness’s largest event organiser, LCC Live, originally won the contract to host the European Pipe Band Championships in 2019, 2020 and 2021, with thousands of pipers and drummers attracted to the city each June.

The pandemic scuppered last summer and this year, but LCC Live negotiated an extension for a further two years to deliver Piping Inverness and the European Pipe Band Championships in 2022 and 2023.

After a difficult period, which saw all sizeable events across the UK cancelled, LCC Live is extremely confident that Piping Inverness can take place safely in 2022.

LCC Live director Mr Kidger said: “We’re excited to be talking about Piping Inverness again, and we’re working closely with the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association (RSPBA) to ensure we can deliver the event as safely as we can in 2022 and 2023.

“We’d like to thank the RSPBA for extending our agreement, and we look forward to working closely with them, as well as our partners at Highland Council, High Life Highland and Event Scotland, to ensure we deliver successful events in 2022 and 2023.”

City of Inverness Pipe Band competing at Piping Live in 2019.
City of Inverness Pipe Band competing at Piping Live in 2019.

RSPBA chairman Kevin Reilly said: “We can’t wait to get to back to Inverness. LCC Live delivered one of the best piping events we’ve ever hosted, and we’re extremely excited to announce that the European Pipe Band Championships are back in the Highlands in 2022.

“There’s no better feeling than seeing and hearing the hundreds of pipe bands that descend to compete in major competitions, including the European Pipe Band Championships. We’re so looking forward to it!”

Inverness Provost Helen Carmichael said: “I’m absolutely delighted that plans to host this prestigious event are moving forward and I am sure tickets will be snapped up very quickly. Not only will Piping Inverness 2022 bring significant economic benefit to the city, but it is going to be a chance to really showcase our city and the surrounding Highlands to visitors from around the world.

“After the restrictions of Covid-19, this really provides an exciting opportunity to give our businesses and residents a much-needed boost and to get back the vibrancy we have all missed.

“My fellow councillors and I look forward to working closely with the organisers to make Piping Inverness 2022 a very memorable event.”

Inverness Business Improvement District (BID) manager Mike Smith also applauded the news.

“All credit to LCC Live for negotiating for the European Pipe Band Championships to be staged in Inverness in 2022 and 2023 as part of Piping Inverness,” he said.

“Given the scale and numbers attending, this major event will again both raise the profile of the city of Inverness as a venue for major events, as well as benefitting the Inverness economy.”


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