This year’s Crieff Highland Games will not have a pipe band championships.
A spokesperson for Crieff highland gathering explained: “Due to the increasing popularity of the annual World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, the organisers have decided to extend it from a one day event to a full weekend. Unfortunately, this will have a knock on effect for Crieff Highland Gathering in 2013 because, for this year at least, the two events will clash. It will, therefore, not be possible to hold a pipe band championships as part of this year’s Crieff Highland Gathering.”
Various alternative options were looked at by Games directors to mitigate the effects of the loss, including moving the Games away from their traditional slot on the third weekend in August. But for various reasons, this was not seen as a viable option, and the Games will proceed on Sunday, August 18, as planned.
And, although there will be no formal pipe band championship on Games Day, the directors are looking to invite a number of pipe bands who will not be competing at the Worlds in order to provide the piping spectacle the crowds always enjoy. It is also hoped that these bands will take part in the popular Sounds of Strathearn parade to the Market Park.
However, the good news for pipes and drums fans is that in order to make up for the lack of a pipe band competition, Crieff Highland Gathering have decided to host a separate pipe band competition on the Sunday following the Games. Because of the move away from the clash with the World Championships, it is hoped that a competition on August 25 will attract more bands than have competed recently at Crieff Highland Gathering, possibly as many as 30 or 40. The spokesperson added: “This promises to be quite a spectacle and we very much hope the competition will be embraced and supported by locals and visitors. Again, subject to police approval, it is hoped that Sounds of Strathearn will become involved in arranging a street parade of these bands.”
Crieff Highland Gathering chairman David Gillies said it was disappointing not to have a pipe band competition on Games Day itself. He told the Herald: “The invitation of various pipe bands, together with the special attraction, will ensure the Games will remain the spectacle it always is. Also, the prospect of what could potentially be quite a large and exciting competition in Crieff the following week is one we are very much looking forward to. Pipe bands are always a popular feature of any Highland Games, so much so that we feel a stand alone competition will be a great day out for locals and visitors.”