Get your tickets now for the 50th Glenfiddich Championships

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2022 winners Callum Beaumont (L) and Willie McCallum (R).JPG

The Glenfiddich Piping Championship is set to celebrate its 50th edition at the spectacular Blair Castle on Saturday 28th October 2023, with tickets on sale now.

Ten of the world’s greatest solo pipers, chosen from a list of qualifying events, will compete in the prestigious Championship, which was first held in 1974. The international event was established to inspire the world’s finest exponents of Ceòl Mòr or Piobaireachd (the great music) and Ceòl Beag or light music (the little music). 

2022 winners Callum Beaumont and Willie McCallum. Photo by Derek Maxwell

Run by The National Piping Centre, the world centre for excellence in bagpipe music, and funded through the William Grant Foundation, the event is held annually in Perthshire.

This year’s competitors and judges will be announced in September, once all the qualifying events have been completed. The successful pipers will play in both the Piobaireachd and March, Strathspey and Reel disciplines, with prizes awarded for each discipline, as well as an overall Championship winner.

The landmark 50th annual event will welcome live audiences to the Perthshire venue’s impressive Victorian ballroom whilst also being live streamed, allowing piping fans around the world to experience all aspects of the competition from home.

The Championship will get underway at 10am on Saturday 28th October and with limited availability on the door at Blair Castle, people are encouraged to buy a ticket in advance for the in-person show, priced at £20 per person or £15 for concessions. All in-person tickets include a programme. The online show is priced at £15 and will be available to view live and for one week after it is first streamed.

There is also an option to purchase a special commemorative booklet along with in-person tickets for £5. The booklet lists all the prize winners across the last 50 years, charting the changes in the top solo piping scene.

Following the competition, the annual Pipers’ Ceilidh will take place in the Atholl Palace Hotel in Pitlochry, with a limited number of tickets for this also available for purchase for an additional £60 on top of a competition ticket. There are also a number of special events planned as part of the 50th edition celebrations, with details being announced in the coming months.

The National Piping Centre’s Director of Piping, Finlay MacDonald, said: “We are thrilled to be celebrating the 50th edition of the prestigious Glenfiddich Piping Championship at Blair Castle this October. It’s a fantastic celebration of the best pipers in the world, and over the last five decades there have been some legendary competitors and winners which showcase the very best in our field. This year we’ll celebrate them all as well as finding our new champion, and we’ve got some exciting new additions to this year’s event lined up to mark this amazing milestone too. We look forward to welcoming audiences new and old to Perthshire this autumn.”

•The first Glenfiddich Piping Championship winner James (Jimmy) McIntosh in 1974.

First to lift the inaugural Glenfiddich trophy – for the first few years it was known as the Grant’s Piping Championship – in 1974 was James (Jimmy) McIntosh of Dundee. 2022’s winner was Willie McCallum from Campbeltown, with Callum Beaumont from Dollar crowned runner-up and Fred Morrison from Renfrewshire placed third overall. Callum Beumont was also named the Piobaireachd winner, and the March, Strathspey and Reel (MSR) competition was also won by Willie McCallum.

Tickets for the Glenfiddich Piping Championship 2023 are on sale now at www.thepipingcentre.co.uk/glenfiddich