The Argyllshire Gathering Piping Competition 2024 takes place in Oban, Argyll on Wednesday 21 August and Thursday 22 August 2024.
The Competition features two days of piping excellence, with over 200 pipers from across the globe competing in this, the world's foremost solo piping competition.
Click here for full details of all the Competitions including eligibility, and how to enter.
See below for the General Rules for the Piping Competition (excludes the MacGregor Memorial Competition, the Rules of which are issued by the Highland Society of London - see MacGregor Memorial tab). You can also download a copy here>.
1. Any piper who has entered and has been accepted for any competition at the Argyllshire Gathering who fails to attend or compete without having given the stewards prior notice of their absence then an application to enter in the following year may be rejected.
2. The March, Strathspey and Reel (intermediate) competition shall be open to only those who have competed in the MacGregor Memorial Piobaireachd competition held on the first day of the competition.
3. After a Competitor has been called on to play, tuning of Pipes must be kept to a minimum as the Judges or Stewards may determine. Where lights or an alternative are in use, competitors must abide by the timing issued by judges.
4. Any Competitors misconducting themselves or acting contrary to the Rules of the Gathering or the orders of the Judges or the Stewards shall be excluded from the Competitions and Prizes, and may be removed from the Games ground or competition halls.
5. The Judges of the piping competitions shall be entitled to stop any Competitor whilst playing if in their opinion, he or she has no longer any chance of winning a prize.
6. In all cases, the decisions of the Stewards will be final, and they may postpone or abandon the Competitions or any of them if necessitated by the weather or any other circumstances, or alter the timing of particular events, or the order in which Competitors compete, of all of which they shall be the sole determinants. Extra events may be added to the programme at the discretion of the Stewards.
7. All Competitors must appear and compete in Highland Dress or uniform. Bonnets should be worn but jackets need not be.
8. Only Competitors taking part in the particular events in progress will be allowed inside the ropes at the Games ground.
9. The order of competing in all Piping Events will be decided by ballot, drawn by the Stewards after 30th June. Competitors will be able to view the order of play via www.obangames.com. Order of play and locations can be seen at the Secretary’s Office on the Tuesday evening prior to the competitions and will be displayed at competition venues on the Wednesday.
10. There must be more Competitors than prizes, or part of the prizes may be withdrawn. No first prize may be awarded unless there are at least two Competitors.
11. Prizes are normally presented on the Wednesday after the Former Winners’ March, Strathspey and Reel in the evening. Any prize-winners who cannot be present for the prize-giving may claim their prizes earlier. On the Thursday, prizes will be presented to the winners by the Piping Steward after the conclusion of the respective competitions. It remains the responsibility of all prize-winners to claim their prizes, and neither the Argyllshire Gathering nor any of the Stewards or officials of the Gathering shall be responsible for any prize not claimed.
12. For the purposes of Local Events and eligibility for the Local prizes in other events (if any), a “Local” Competitor is one who (a) is a Native of, or (b) has been resident for the last two years in the County of Argyll, or (c) is currently serving in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, or (d) who can satisfy the Stewards that they have any other comparably close links with Argyll. Intending Competitors must enter their qualifications to play in Local Competitions on their Entry Form.
13. No competitor may win local events (Events 5, 6 and 7) more than three times. Local Prizes will be awarded, or withheld at the discretion of the Judges based on the Entrant’s merit.
14. Competitors in Events 1, 2 and 3 intending to play a setting of any tune not contained in the staff or editorial notes of the Piobaireachd Society’s Books or the Kilberry Book should give notice of the setting which they intend to play at the time of submitting their Entry Forms.
16. Competitors must be over 16 on the day of competition for the Open events. Only competitors under 16, and who must be 12 or over on the day of competition, may compete in Event 5. (A piper under 12 may exceptionally be considered for entry by the Stewards.)
17. Entries for the open competitions must be lodged according to the published timetable, the critical date being 31st January each year for requesting a Ruling on Eligibility from the Joint Committee. Late entries will not be accepted.
18. Competitors cannot compete in both MacGregor Memorial and Silver Medal. If selected for both they can choose which competition they wish to play.
a) Intending Competitors must enter via the website in the year of competition. Juniors and Locals can enter on the field!!
b) A single entry fee of £50.00 is payable by each Competitor entering for the Piping Competitions, and will be collected prior to their being able to play in their first competition at the Gathering. No entry fee is required from competitors in the Local Competitions or the Junior March, Strathspey and Reel.
On the Thursday morning of the Gathering all competitors are requested to form a Pipe Band to accompany members to the Games field. Pipers are to assemble under the Pipe Major-ship of the previous day’s Gold Medal winner in Station Square at 10.15am. A van will leave Oban station carrying pipers’ gear to the Games field.
John Campbell of Kilberry, Piping Steward
Torquil Telfer, Pipiin Secretary
On behalf of the Argyllshire Gathering
(Amended March 2001, October 2005, November 2008, November 2010, November 2011, February 2021)
ANGUS NICOL for THE HIGHLAND SOCIETY OF LONDON