A few years ago I was involved with some efforts to attract major pipe band events to Northern Ireland. We wanted to bring the RSPBA World Pipe Band Championships across the water from Scotland, but were just pipped at the post by Glasgow City Council (who retained the event for the umpteenth year). However, later that same year Belfast City Council did manage to secure the European Pipe Band Championships for three years running from 2010 - 2012. Last year's event at Stormont Estate was a good start to the series, and this year's looks like a much bigger affair.
> Belfast City Council web page about the Championships: click here
> Piping is Class Festival: click here
I can't go this year as I'm leading another Ulster-Scots historical bus tour of the Ards and North Down on the same day, but I'd definitely recommend anyone to go to the Europeans (and any of the pipe band contests), it's a great day out. For those stuck at home but close to a computer, there's always the live online stream being arranged through the multimedia department of Lurgan Junior High School- more info on the RSPBA website here. (school has obviously changed a lot since my day!).
The Worlds is being held on Glasgow Green on Saturday 13th. Let's hope the Ulster bands romp home with a truckload of wins - Worlds website here.