Giant mural is unveiled at launch of piping events
THE landscape of Glasgow Green looked very different last week as a giant 23ft piper mural, known as The Colossal Clansman, popped (or piped) up in the park.
The stunt launched Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival, where it was announced the World Pipe Band Championships are returning to the city from August 7–13.
The world’s biggest week of piping will see more than 50,000 music fans, families and tourists flock to Glasgow to enjoy 200 events and 8,000 performers throughout the week.
The Colossal Clansman was created using a remarkable six miles of fabric - the same amount it takes to kit out the 23 participating Piping Live! bands and 21 competing in Grade 1 qualifiers of the World Pipe Band Championships.
The 7m by 4m portrait, created by Glasgow artist Bruno Gallagher, was created to showcase the grand scale of both events, which annually attract thousands of visitors from across the globe.
Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival’s diverse programme is famed for bringing the best pipers and bands in the world to Glasgow and this year is set to be just as outstanding, with acts including Peatbog Faeries, Battlefield Band and Tejedor topping the bill.
The programme will also see performances by the very best international acts from Estonia, Argentina, Canada, Czech Republic, Northern Ireland, Australia and Italy, as well as numerous events including the fiercely contested Master Solo, International Quartet and Pipe Idol competitions.
Throughout the week there will be daily performances and family fun in George Square, the festival’s city centre hub, as well as recitals, book launches and the hugely popular street café at the National Piping Centre. The popular pipers’ market will also return this year to George Square, bringing with it some of Scotland’s very best food and drink, as well as craft stalls for everyone to enjoy.
The World Pipe Band Championships are on Glasgow Green on August 11 and 12. This year it celebrates its 70th anniversary, with the first World Pipe Band Championships being held at Murrayfield in Edinburgh in 1947. The event was first held in Glasgow in 1948 and has been staged in the city continuously since 1986.
This year, Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band from Northern Ireland defend the title they reclaimed last year. The band have been world champions five times in the past six years.
In recent years, more than 225 bands have travelled from all over the world, bringing around 8,000 pipers and drummers to compete in eight grades for the world title. Entries for this year’s event are open and the final list of participants will be confirmed six weeks before the championships.
Ian Embelton, chief executive of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, said: ‘The World Pipe Band Championships has developed and changed throughout its history but at its core the challenge to pipe bands is still the same. They spend months rehearsing for their shot at the world title, all the time searching for the perfect performance that will show off their full talent as a band.
‘A day out at the worlds is to experience a unique showcase of Scottish culture but also to enjoy musicianship and teamwork of extraordinary quality. There is nothing quite like it.’
Paul Bush OBE, director of events at VisitScotland, added: ‘ We are delighted to be supporting Piping Live! and the World Pipe Band Championships, with both events attracting the best piping talent from around the world.’