Celebrating 70 years of the World Pipe Band Championships

More than 8,000 pipers and drummers will gather in Glasgow this weekend to compete in the World Pipe Band Championships.

A total of 219 bands will take part in the 70th anniversary of the event considered the pinnacle of Pipe Band competition.

The first ever World Pipe Band Championships were 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 will see competitors from 15 nations, including the USA, Canada, Northern Ireland, France, England, Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Austria, Netherlands, Republic of Ireland, Switzerland, Denmark, Argentina and Scotland, battle it to be crowned the best of the best in front of tens of thousands of spectators.

“At the heart of the World Pipe Band Championships are brilliant musicians seeking to prove they are the best of this best. Planning for the event itself is a year round process but getting ready to compete is a life-long pursuit of excellence coupled with months of rehearsal. For any band to win the World title is a huge achievement and to watch them all compete is a real pleasure,” said  Ian Embelton, Chief Executive of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association.

This year, Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band from Northern Ireland defends the title they reclaimed last year. The band has been World Champions five times in the last six years.

As well as the best Pipe Bands in the world, the event also hosts Highland Games, Highland Dancing and a great showcase of Scottish food and drink.

The championships are just one event among many in and around Glasgow which form part of the larger Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival festival. The biggest of its kind in the world the week-long celebrations includes over 200 events in various venues across the city from 7 – 13 August.