Finlay MacDonald and Roddy MacLeod in Buchanan Street today for the official launch of the 2019 Piping Live! festival.
Finlay MacDonald and Roddy MacLeod in Buchanan Street today for the official launch of the 2019 Piping Live! festival. (Photo: Chris James)

The run-up to the 16th Piping Live! festival kicked off today when Glasgow’s Buchanan Street was transformed into the Piping Walk of Fame, with Hollywood-style stars revealing the headliners of this year’s festival. The festival returns to the city from August 10-18.

Buchanan Street, one of the city’s main shopping thoroughfares, runs from the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall down to St Enoch Square. At the official launch today the street was bedecked with tartan-themed stars announcing the big names set to perform, including, Finlay Johnston, Dàimh, Lúnasa and Dougie MacLean.

The Masters Solo Piping competition, the International Quartet competition and Pipe Idol all return for this year. In addition, there will be daily performances, family fun and the popular Street Café will return to The National Piping Centre.

Inveraray. Quartet winners at the 2017 Piping Live! festival.
Inveraray. Quartet winners at the 2017 Piping Live! festival.

The pipe bands that will take part in the Quartets include:

• Field Marshal Montgomery
• Inveraray and District
• Simon Fraser University
• People’s Ford Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia
• Glasgow Police
• Canterbury Caledonia
• 78th Fraser Highlanders
• Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Bands.

The programme this year also features performances by the very best international acts from countries including Scotland, Canada, Malaysia and New Zealand.

BBC Radio Scotland’s Pipeline programme is to record a live festival ‘taster’ at The National Piping Centre on Thursday, June 13 at the National Piping Centre. The line-up includes Iain Speirs, Jarlath Henderson, and Hecla.

Roddy MacLeod, Festival Director said: “Each year, we bring the stars of traditional music to Glasgow, so this year we decided to pay tribute to them by creating our very own Piping Walk of Fame to unveil our headliners.

“Our 16th year is set to be an incredible festival – we have some of the biggest performers putting on events throughout the city, family fun at our Street Café and evening concerts not to be missed. There really is something for everyone and we look forward to enjoying an amazing event with you all in August.”

Piping Live! is supported by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, and Glasgow Life.

Councillor David MacDonald, depute leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life said: “The return of Piping Live! always brings a vibrancy to the city with exceptional musical performances from incredible musicians. The opportunity to see something so distinctly Scottish that features some of the finest talent in the world is compelling for Glaswegians and for visitors to the city. Coming in the days leading up to the World Pipe Band Championships it makes for the biggest celebration of piping and pipe bands in the world.”

Register now for presale via

Pre-sale tickets for Piping Live! go on sale at 09:00am on Thursday (May 30).

Piping Live! was started in 2004 and was originally named Piping Hot! The festival has added significantly to the economy of Glasgow during the week running up to the World Pipe Band Championships. An economic study of last year’s festival indicated that an additional £1.9-million (roughly $3.25-million) was generated in Glasgow during the week.