Bagpipe conference a casualty of virus fears


The International Bagpipe Conference has been cancelled due to fears over the Cornovarius.

The conference was due to begin next weekend (March 13-15) at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Organisers, the International Bagpipe Organisation, say they are considering publishing a journal instead. A spokesman said in a statement: “In light of the recent international events and the now global corona virus epidemic, we have been receiving expressions of concern from both US and European participants regarding their travel plans and health.


“After much thought and discussion, it is with a heavy heart that we have come to the decision of cancelling this 2020 edition of the International Bagpipe Conference. We feel that this is the only responsible decision to take in the current climate, responding to your concerns, but also to eventual problems that may arise such as last minute travel-bans, cancelled flights or even unexpected enforced quarantines for travellers.

“We will be convening in two weeks time to think about alternative possibilities to disseminate your research and continue such as publications of the papers in virtual or printed format or the organisation of a substitute event further in the future when the situation has cleared up a little. Please keep an eye out here for any further updates.”

This would have been the fifth International Bagpipe Conference. A opening concert featuring piping from Estonia, Greece, France, Scotland, Ireland, Brittany, Spain and Austria was planned for next Friday.

Papers on subjects as diverse as the pipe band as a tool of cultural transmission, a Balkan bagpipe, bagpipes in the central Himalayas and the uillean piping scene in Cuba were to be heard over the weekend.

The International Bagpipe Conference is a biennial event held for musicologists, ethnomusicologists, music experts, instrument makers, folk musicians, dancers and music lovers.