With just days to go until the return of Piping Inverness and the European Pipe Band Championships, preparations are getting underway to transform Bught Park into a piping arena.
After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, there are more than 100 pipe bands making their way from around the UK, Europe and the world, to compete in the European Pipe Band Championships in Inverness this Saturday, June 25. The full draw can be found on the RSPBA website here.
Piping Inverness 2022 will be officially launched with a soft cannon gun, whilst the Chieftain, Steve Walsh OBE, Chief Executive of High Life Highland, will be in attendance throughout the day, recognising the nine category winners and crowning the winning Grade One band as champions.
Ian Embleton, Chief Executive of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association (RSPBA), said: “We can’t wait for the much-anticipated return of Piping Inverness and the European Pipe Band Championships. The absence of piping events and competitions over the last couple of years, has left a massive void in the piping community, so there’s much excitement from competitors and supporters alike. Good luck to all the competitors!”
Steve Walsh OBE, Chieftain of this year’s Piping Inverness, commented: “I’m deeply honoured to act as Chieftain for the 2022 Piping Inverness event, and having commanded numerous parades during my military career, I’m sure I will slot straight back into official duties!
“Piping Inverness and the European Pipe Band Championships is a massive coup for Inverness, in terms of the economic benefit, as well the culture and for inspiring young musicians, some of whom are learning via High Life Highland’s own music tuition service, which runs across the region. I look forward to welcoming guests and competitors to the event.”
In addition to the piping competition, there will also be a Highland Dance competition alongside a host of entertainment, making this the ultimate fun-filled family day out. There will be an inflatable assault course hosted by the Scots Guards, whilst Moray Flying Circus will offer circus skills sessions and aerial taster sessions, as well as doing a few performances of their own! High Life Highland is hosting activity taster sessions and Inverness Botanic Gardens is dressing the site with flowers. It’s a real community event!
Caitlin Brown of LCC Live, the organisers of Piping Inverness, commented: “Work is underway to create the arena for Piping Inverness, which incorporates the European Pipe Band Championships, and there’s an abundance of anticipation from the team. It’s been a challenging couple of years, but with the higher-than-expected band entry levels and thousands of spectators expected, we’re preparing for a busy, family fun-filled day at Bught Park.
“With over 100 pipe bands coming to Piping Inverness from all around the world, we’re preparing to give them all a friendly, warm Highland welcome, which is why it’s so encouraging that the local community is coming forward and supporting the event.”
Caitlin added: “As well as the European Pipe Band Championships, the Drum Major Championships and the Highland Dancing competition, we also have a number of local food and drink outlets, a craft and retail village and a funfair area. It will be a great family day out for all ages, and we hope you can come and join us!”
Tickets for Piping Inverness are available to purchase at the gate on the day or in advance via www.pipinginverness.com. For more information about Piping Inverness, or to access the event’s FAQ section, please visit its website.