Band Travel

August 29, 2010 on 7:37 am by Michael Grey | In News, Pipe Bands | 5 Comments

A quick note as I sit in a sunny Glasgow cafe digesting the entertaining editorial that was the band’s score sheets from yesterday’s contest in Dunoon (what a great day, by the way – congrats to Boghall! I’ll share more when I have easier access to technology).

I wasn’t fully aware – until this trip – how truly pricey it is to move a band from one place to the other – especially by air. The Toronto Police Pipe Band faced surcharges of around $3000 (Canadian) to transport drums from YYZ to GLA. One tenor drum alone was $400. The total sum all-in would’ve been way higher had we not hired snare drums on the UK side (we reckoned we avoided spending a couple of grand in excess freight charges doing this).

Cheap air travel is well and truly a thing of the past – unless you’re maybe travelling on your own with your luggage in your pocket.

Knowing this it strikes me event organizers will have to take this unfortunate newish reality in to consideration when planning financials. Just sayin.

A pub crawl on the Grassmarket calls …


PS. As some in the band found, for individuals, it’s £10 for every one kilo over the alloted 20 kg.


  1. Looking forward to hear about it. It seems they hammered you.

    Comment by Stig Bang-Mortensen — September 5, 2010 #

  2. Yep!

    Comment by Michael Grey — September 5, 2010 #

  3. Surprised? When you think of the comments 78th Frasers or City of Victoria got when they first knocked on the door many years ago it’s probably just a matter of time. Now they have heard it and can discuss it through the winter.

    Comment by Stig Bang-Mortensen — September 5, 2010 #

  4. Yes. I was part of that 78th band in the good old days and can say without reservation that at no time in that band’s development do I recall anything coming close to resembling the kind of unhelpful and remarkably opinionated (and sometimes personal) unhelpful vitriol that characterized some of the adjudicator comment from Cowal games. M.

    Comment by Michael Grey — September 6, 2010 #

  5. I’m sorry to hear it was that bad. The comments I remember from then (from BBC and Piping Times) was more on playing speed and band set-up.
    I suppose it is what can happen when an artist really hit a nerve. In Denmark we still have discussions over an event 40 years ago when an artist (now a highly regarded art professor) killed a horse in public and canned it.

    Comment by Stig Bang-Mortensen — September 7, 2010 #

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