Record numbers at piping contest

A RECORD number of spectators turned out to watch the World Pipe Band Championships yesterday.

More than 45,000 converged on Glasgow Green to watch 230 bands from 15 countries compete for the sought-after title.

The estimated total beat the previous high of 40,000, while the top-tier grade one ticket sales sold out in record time.

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Organisers said more than 8,000 pipers and drummers performed.

Ian Embelton, chief executive of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, said before the event: "Demand for tickets gets stronger every year and this year families will have more to see and do while enjoying the best pipe band music in the world."

Scott Taylor, of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said the economy would benefit by an estimated 10 million as bands converged on the city to compete.

Bethany Bisaillion, Pipe Major with Canadian band The Sons of Scotland, said they had been coming to the event from Ottawa for six years.

She said: "We've come a long way to be here this week because we love it.

"It's a great opportunity for us to showcase our work and Canada's work on the world stage. We look forward to it every year."

Lord Provost of Glasgow Bob Winter is the chieftain at this year's event.

He said: "There is nothing quite like the sights and sounds at Glasgow Green on the day of The Worlds and I am honoured to have been asked to be chieftain once again.

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"The World Pipe Band Championships are a cornerstone of our cultural calendar and an event that lives long in the memory."

Bands from as far afield as Australia, Canada, the US and New Zealand travelled to Scotland for the event.

Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop said: "Our world-renowned culture and heritage provides the perfect stage for events like this."