The 2020 Argyllshire Gathering was formally cancelled today. It had been due to take place in Oban, Scotland over August 26 and 27.

The belated announcement will surprise no one and comes exactly three months after the Northern Meeting cancelled its competitions for 2020 due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

The Argyllshire Gathering’s Piping Steward, Torquil Telfer, said: “We have cancelled this year’s competitions. We are disappointed but we have explored all alternatives.

“We have waited until the last possible moment before cancelling our traditional competitions. We do so with great reluctance and make no apology for holding back until all alternatives had been explored. We have listened to pipers who felt that the absence of overseas visitors could have diluted the importance of the competitions had we gone ahead using a different format than that used historically at the Gathering.”

“Ultimately, we did not want to lessen the credibility of our world class events. As announced recently, we will be holding the MacGregor Memorial [for pipers aged 21 and younger] online and we have 36 entries for this.

march to the field, Oban 2017
Oban 2017. The annual march through the town to Mossfield Park for the light music competitions at the Argyllshire Gathering is led by the previous day’s winner of the Gold Medal and Silver Medal.

“Our thoughts are also turning to an invitational event for the senior players. It is all about doing something for piping in what has been a very trying summer. Also, we shortly will announce the winner of our 2/4 March composing competition.”

The London Competition – the third of the ‘big three’ solo piping competitions – now remains the only major piping event that has yet to announce its cancellation for 2020. The London Competition is organised by the Scottish Piping Society of London and held in the first weekend of November. Last year it moved to The Caledonian Club, adjacent to Hyde Park Corner.