Piping Live! generates £2.5m for economy


An international piping festival in Glasgow generated £2.5m for the local economy and attracted record numbers.

Figures for Piping Live! show that the summer event generated a "breathtaking" sum of money and brought in a record number of attendees from all over the world.

A visitor survey and economic impact report found that the event, which ran from 7-13 August this year, had audiences of more than 45,000 people.

This was a 9% increase on 2016.

The study, commissioned by Ekos, an economic and social development consultancy, highlighted the importance of the annual festival and the role it plays in attracting overseas visitors to Glasgow.

About 75% of attendees travelled from outside the city and 32% arrived from outside Scotland - an increase on last year's figures.

The study showed that the average overseas visitor stayed in Glasgow for 5.6 days, bringing an economic benefit to hotels, restaurants and bars.

More than 200 events were held during the festival, which is now in its 14th year, with a line-up including The Peatbog Faeries and Jose Manuel Tejedor. It also featured performers from Australia, Estonia, Argentina, Canada, the Czech Republic and Italy.

Piping Live! and the National Piping Centre both receive support from public bodies including Glasgow Life, Event Scotland and Creative Scotland.

'Amazing talent'

Festival organiser Roddy MacLeod said: "We continue to break our own records, bringing in more visitors to Glasgow each year, and showcasing some truly amazing talent.

"Piping Live! is intrinsic to Scotland's cultural calendar and we're delighted to say that this report reflects a worldwide thirst for traditional music that is going from strength to strength.

"The number of overseas visitors are a welcome boost to tourism in Scotland, and Glasgow, bringing vital custom to local businesses, including hotels, bars and restaurants."

Paul Bush, director of events at VisitScotland, said: "As a key part of EventScotland's annual portfolio of events, I'm delighted Piping Live! continues to go from strength to strength, with the 2017 festival bringing a record audience to this fantastic week-long celebration of one our country's most iconic instruments and sounds."

Councillor David McDonald, chairman of Glasgow Life, said: "This study highlights the role Piping Live! has, in conjunction with the World Pipe Band Championships, encouraging terrific artists to perform in Glasgow and providing yet another reason for visitors to come here."

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