Monday, 29 August 2016

The bagpipe festival

Q: Where is the International Bagpipe Festival held? 
(a) Edinburgh, Scotland
(b) London, England
(c) Britanny, France
(d) an obscure former industrial town in the Czech Republic

If you answered (d) you are of course correct. Every two years the International Bagpipe Festival is held in Strakonice, a not especially pretty town about halfway between České Budějovice and Pilsen in the south of the Czech Republic. This year 1100 musicians took part from 14 European countries, playing bagpipes on seven stages - not to mention street corners, pubs and parks - for four days. I went along for two scorching hot days and greatly enjoyed myself, camping just outside town because every hotel for kilometres was full of bagpipers from France, Bulgaria, Greece, Croatia, Holland ... you name it. The photo above is of the Spanish group, who stole the show on opening night. 

The Slovak flagbearer

Pity the poor double-bass player at parade time (this group is from Croatia) 

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