The sound of Highland Cathedral and Scotland the Brave filled the air in an Aberdeen park as the countdown to a major piping competition began.
The prestigious European Pipe Band Championships will be held in the Granite City this summer for the first time since 1981.
Pipers from all over flock to take part in the competitions, which have been held as part of Piping Inverness since 2019.
However, that event has been pulled this year after it was deemed financially unviable.
Inverness’s loss is Aberdeen’s gain, as more than 100 pipe bands from across Europe and as far as Australia will descend on Duthie Park for the event on June 24.
Tickets for the championships are now on sale.
‘I would be very surprised if we don’t get a lot of American tourists coming’
Lord Provost David Cameron is looking forward to welcoming visitors from all over to the event.
At the launch in March, he was joined by pipe bands from Robert Gordon’s College, Cults Academy and Dyce Primary School who performed a selection of tunes.
Mr Cameron said: “We are thrilled to be welcoming the European Pipe Band Championships and piping community to our city this summer.
“This is an excellent opportunity to show to the rest of Europe what Aberdeen has to offer and will also hopefully inspire our city’s youth to learn the pipes.
“An event like this brings people from all over Europe because its the European Championships, but the Americans are big into their pipe bands and I would be very surprised if we don’t get a lot of American tourists coming as well just to see this prestigious event.”
Balmoral Group has been announced as the headline sponsor for the event held in partnership with the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association and Aberdeen Inspired.
Chairman and managing director of Balmoral, Sir James Milne, said he was sure the city will extend its “customary warm welcome” for the championships.
Feeling honoured to be part of the occasion, he added: “I hope the event will encourage a further understanding of piping and deeper Scottish values and that the many visitors to our city will leave with fond and lasting memories of our country, our region and its people.”
‘Really good and beneficial for the economy’
Colin Mulhern, chief executive of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, said they were “delighted” to be back in Aberdeen after a 40-year absence.
He added: “We look forward to the usual professional standards of presentation as in previous years and look forward to welcoming visitors from all over the world to Aberdeen.”
It is hoped the event – which brought thousands of people to Inverness in previous years – will boost the local economy.
Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said: “It will be really good and beneficial for the economy because it will bring many thousands into to the city, hopefully not just for the day, but to spend a few days here.
“That’s people coming from across the world as well, who will get to appreciate what a wonderful city it is.”
The day will also feature a range of family-fun activities as well as food and drink from local producers. Tickets can be bought in advance by clicking here, or on the day.