The RSPBA have issued two press releases this afternoon, February 12, with more good news and progress made to re-establishing five major pipe band championships in the 2024 calendar.

The addition of the UK Championships in Bangor and British Pipe Band Championships in Forres means there are now five majors going ahead this year. The UK Championships starts the majors on May 18, followed by British Pipe Band Championships on June 8 in Forres, the Scottish Championship in Dumbarton on July 27, the European Championship on Sunday, August 11, in Perth, and the World Championships in Glasgow on August 16 and 17.

The press releases and statements from RSPBA Chairman, Kevin Reilly, is below.

The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association announce the UK Pipe Band Championship on the 18th May 2024 in Bangor, Northern Ireland.  This is a significant event in the world of pipe bands, it attracts pipe bands from across Northern Ireland, Ireland, Great Britain, and sometimes even further afield. The championship offers various categories for bands of different grades, with each grade representing a different level of proficiency and competition.

These events are not only competitions but also gatherings for enthusiasts of traditional Scottish music, featuring performances, workshops, and opportunities for camaraderie among musicians and spectators alike. Bangor, a coastal city in County Down, provides a picturesque backdrop for the event, attracting visitors and participants to its scenic shores.

The championship serves as both a showcase of musical talent and a celebration of cultural heritage, highlighting the rich tradition of pipe bands in Northern Ireland and beyond. It offers a platform for bands to demonstrate their skill and dedication while fostering a sense of community among participants and spectators.

The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association Chairman, Kevin Reilly, said: “We have worked extremely hard to continue the tradition of Northern Ireland hosting the UK Championship. We are excited to be working with our new host, Ards and North Down Borough Council who has made it possible. Our thanks also goes to The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association Northern Ireland for their tireless effort to make this a reality.”

The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association Chairman, Kevin Reilly, said: “We have worked extremely hard to return the British Championship to the calendar. We are honoured to be working with Andy MacDonald from YBD Music Limited who has made it possible to return to Forres after an absence of six years. Andy’s enthusiasm, passion and drive promises to bring something special to the local area.

The huge attendance this spectacular event attracts, and the numbers of bands competing, is testimony to how much these iconic Championships mean to the piping community and to fans of traditional Scottish music.

I’ve no doubt that this year’s British coming to Forres will be an unforgettable event. We’re expecting a tremendous turn-out, so I would urge everyone planning to attend not to delay in booking so they ensure they secure their tickets in advance.” Ticketing information will be announced soon.

YBD Music Ltd’s Andy MacDonald said: “I’m looking forward to the partnership with The RSPBA to bring the British Pipe Band Championships to Grant Park in Forres, this is huge! I’m very happy and excited with this significant win. The Championship will bring great joy to many and will be an excellent opportunity for family entertainment. I know this event will have a long-term significance, and the Championship is an opportunity to develop talent in the local area.”

Along with all participating pipe bands, we jointly affirm our commitment to promoting the rich cultural heritage and tradition of Scottish music through this event. We extend our gratitude to all competitors, judges, sponsors, and spectators for their support and dedication to preserving and celebrating this art form.

Together, we look forward to a day filled with camaraderie, musical excellence, and mutual respect.

As we join forces to present these extraordinary events, we invite you to immerse yourself in the magic of the pipes, drums, and Highland spirit. Let us come together in celebration, united by our love for music and our appreciation for the traditions that bind us.