Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival cancelled

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Organisers of the 2020 Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival have today announced that this year’s festival has been cancelled – hours after reaching out to thousands of pipers across the world to pipe up as a poignant salute to key workers in the battle against the COVID-19 virus.

The festival, which was due to take place from August 8-16, was expected to welcome 40,000 visitors to Glasgow, with 5,000 performers due to put on more than 150 events throughout the city.

But, due to the ongoing and unprecedented effect of coronavirus, organisers have now made the “heart-breaking” decision to cancel, encouraging fans to focus on the wellbeing of themselves and their families instead.

The programme for this year’s Piping Live! was still to be announced and tickets had yet to go on sale, but festival sponsors, partner venues and performers have been informed of the cancellation.

Ahead of the decision, Finlay MacDonald, artistic director for Piping Live! 2020, posted a video on Twitter, inviting pipers across the UK to take to their doorsteps and play Scotland The Brave in support of the ongoing work by key workers during this pandemic. The rally cry went viral, with more than 2,500 pipers globally showing their support in an emotional display at 8pm yesterday evening (Thursday April 2).

Mr MacDonald said: ‘Last night, we were on our doorsteps, piping up in honour of our family and friends in key service roles – applauding their heroic work and extending our humble gratitude. Today, we share this heart-breaking news.

‘This hasn’t been an easy decision, but it’s one we feel is entirely necessary to help safeguard the health and wellbeing of our staff, performers, volunteers and attendees. Year on year, Piping Live! attracts crowds from across the world and we believe it’s our responsibility, as a tourism hotspot, to do our bit in helping reduce the further spread of this pandemic. We are ever hopeful the situation gets better quickly. If that happens, we will consider the possibility of a smaller event later in the year.

‘The piping community really is like no other and we consider ourselves incredibly lucky to have thousands of the most loyal fans. People who we know will continue to do their part in getting one another through these challenging times.

‘As a festival, we’re committed to making 2021 our biggest and best year yet. As a community, we’ll continue to do what we can to keep spirits high and the pipes playing.’

Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival receives support from public bodies including Glasgow Life and EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate – each playing an essential role in the continuing strength of traditional music in Scotland’s cultural scene.