After a summer of cancelled events, Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival has announced it will be live-streaming a mini-programme of this year’s event between August 8-14.

In April, festival organisers had to cancel this year’s event due to the Coronavirus pandemic but after months of careful planning, the festival board decided that if audiences couldn’t come to Glasgow, then they’d bring Piping Live! to millions of pipers and trad music fans across the world. Today, organisers revealed a series of competitions, performances, and panel talks – both free and ticketed – set to take place during Piping Live!’s festival week.

The events will showcase the same world-class musical talent, with an international flavour that audiences have come to expect from the festival – AND re-affirm the National Piping Centre’s commitment to supporting and promoting piping excellence around the world.

On Saturday, August 8, the 54th annual Silver Chanter competition will take place featuring Sarah Muir, Fred Morrison, Callum Beaumont, Stuart Liddell, Connor Sinclair, and Iain Speirs. The CLASP World Amateur Solo Piping Competition will take place on the same day.

On Monday 10, Tuesday 11, and Wednesday 12th, an engaging panel discussions series will be livestreamed. Titled ‘Pipes of The World’ these will have an international piping focus. Piping Live! Director, Finlay McDonald will chair the discussions which will feature Louise Mulcahy (Ireland), Hervé Le Floc’h (France) and Ivan Simeonov Georgiev (Bulgaria).

The popular Pipe Major Alasdair Gillies Memorial Recital Challenge will air on Thursday, August 13. The invited recitalists are Roddy MacLeod MBE, Stuart Liddell, Angus MacColl, Callum Beaumont and Connor Sinclair. The following day, Friday, August 14, popular Scottish folk group, Old Blind Dogs, will play a blistering set to close the week.

Fred Morrison playing at last year’s Piping Live! festival.

Headline concerts are priced at £10 each, or £25 to access all three events, while the panel discussions will be free to view. For more information, please visit the Piping Live! website.

Donations above and beyond the Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Centre ticket price can be made online at or by texting BAGPIPES (chosen donation amount) to 70085 e.g. BAGPIPES 10 to 70085 to donate £10. Up to a maximum of £20, UK mobile phones only.

Finlay MacDonald (pictured), Artistic Director of Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival, said: “To say we’re thrilled to be streaming some of the best events from this year’s Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival programme is an understatement.

“Since we made the heart-breaking announcement that this year’s event couldn’t take place, we’ve been working hard to find a way to celebrate the amazing piping and traditional talent across the world.

“We wanted to lift the spirits of our fans after an incredibly difficult few months, while also giving a platform to all of our brilliant trad musicians at a time when they need it most, and these events do just that.

“To be able to bring back our beloved festival in any way is a true honour, and we can’t wait to see you all, virtually, in August.”

Councillor David McDonald, Chair of Glasgow Life and Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council said: “The decision to cancel festivals has had real consequences for artists and performers around the world so live streaming Piping Live! is an opportunity for us all to support people whose livelihoods depend on playing live.

Old Blind Dogs, featuring virtuoso piper, Ali Hutton (standing above).

“Glasgow is always bursting with energy and music when Piping Live! and the World Pipe Band Championships are held so I have no doubt audiences will be ready to enjoy the programme.”

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Digital and online events are playing an integral role during this time by allowing event organisers to stay connected and engaged with their audience, while offering an outlet for musicians and artists to perform.

“The live streaming of a mini programme of Piping Live! following the cancellation of this year’s event will provide real excitement both for competitors and performers as well as fans of piping until they can return to Scotland for next year’s festival.”

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

Planning for 2021’s festival has already begun, with dates set for Saturday, August 7-15, 2021.

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.

Head to the website to find out more and book tickets now.