Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia take the title of 2023 World Pipe Band Champions

The spectacular finale of The World Pipe Band Championships saw Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia Pipe Band crowned the winners of the renowned international contest. It is the long-established Scottish pipe band’s first-ever World Champions title. Based in Bathgate, West Lothian, Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia fought off stiff competition from runners-up, and 2022 champions, Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band of Lisburn, Northern Ireland.

 The Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia Pipe Band celebrates winning the World Pipe Band Championships.

Last year’s runners up, Inveraray and District Pipe Band, finished in third place.This year’s ‘ultimate battle of the bands’, which took place on Glasgow Green yesterday and today, attracted around 35,000 spectators. The highly anticipated championships represent the pinnacle of the competitive pipe band calendar.  The event always attracts thousands of pipers and drummers to Scotland, reflecting the level of worldwide interest in our national instrument.  Glasgow, a UNESCO City of Music, first hosted the World Pipe Band Championships 75 years ago in 1948, and has hosted the event every year since 1986.

Incredible display of talent and skill


The 2023 championships saw 15 countries represented. With 190 bands taking part in this year’s Worlds, just under 9,000 pipers and drummers took to the field to play over the two days. The nations featuring in this year’s line-up of contenders included Australia, Canada, USA, England, Northern Ireland, Israel, Malaysia, and Zimbabwe.  The largest contingent of bands, a total of 116,  came from Scotland.

Glasgow’s Lord Provost Jacqueline McLaren, Chieftain of The World Pipe Band Championships, said: “It has been wonderful for the city to host the Worlds once again, bringing together the planet’s finest and most talented pipers and drummers. It’s a contest of huge importance to the global pipe band community and a firm cultural favourite here. Our thanks go to all the musicians and, of course, congratulations to Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia Pipe Band on bringing the World Champions title back home to Scotland.”

Kevin Reilly, Chairman of The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, added: “All of the pipers and drummers who gathered in Glasgow for this year’s championships did their bands and their countries proud. They treated our audiences to an incredible display of talent and skill, making the event a huge success and unforgettable experience. Huge congratulations go to our 2023 World Champions Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia Pipe Band – they are very deserving winners.”

The planet’s flagship pipe band contest


As the planet’s flagship pipe band contest, the annual event brings together thousands of pipers and drummers from all over the world for the ultimate ‘battle of the bands’. It attracts thousands of supporters and spectators to experience the contest live. Around 35,000 spectators descended on Glasgow Green to watch 190 bands compete for the world champions title in August. The event – which is filmed by BBC Scotland and streamed over the internet – also attracts huge virtual international audiences, reflecting the level of global interest in Scotland’s national music. Competition for the 2023 Worlds were more fiercely contested than last year as the number of bands and nations taking part increased.


2023 World Pipe Band Championships results


Grade 1

1st Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia (Scotland)

2nd Field Marshal Montgomery (Northern Ireland)

3rd Inveraray & District (Scotland)

4th Simon Fraser University (Canada)

5th Shotts & Dykehead Caledonia (Scotland)

6th St. Laurence O’Toole (Republic of Ireland)

7th Police Scotland Fife (Scotland)

8th ScottishPower (Scotland)

9th Manawatu (New Zealand)

10th Canterbury Caledonian Society (New Zealand)

11th Johnstone (Scotland)

12th Police Scotland & Federation (Scotland)

13th 78th Fraser Highlanders (Canada)

14th St. Thomas Alumni (USA)

15th Auckland & District (New Zealand)

16th Closkelt (Northern Ireland)

Drumming: Simon Fraser University (Canada)


Grade 2

1st Royal Burgh of Annan (Scotland)

2nd Buchan Peterson (Scotland)

3rd Manorcunningham (Republic of Ireland)

4th Portlethen & District (Scotland)

5th Ravara (Northern Ireland)

6th Uddingston (Scotland)

7th North Stratton (Canada)

8th City of Edinburgh (Scotland)

9th Peel Regional Police (Canada)

10th Ulster Scottish (USA)

11th Glasgow Skye Association (Scotland)

12th St. Joseph’s (Republic of Ireland)

13th Brieg (Brittany)

14th MacMillan (USA)

15th Los Angeles Scots (USA)

16th Kilchoman Distillery Isle of Islay (Scotland)

17th Highland Granite (Scotland)

18th Oban (Scotland)

19th Worcester Kiltie (USA)

20th City of Discovery (Scotland)


Grade 3A

1st Tullylagan (Northern Ireland)

2nd Robert Malcolm Memorial (Canada)

3rd Vale of Atholl (Scotland)

4th Coalburn IOR (Scotland)

5th McNeillstown (Northern Ireland)

6th Clogher & District (Northern Ireland)

7th Major Sinclair Memorial (Northern Ireland)

8th Deeside Caledonia (Scotland)

9th Kildoag (Northern Ireland)

10th City of Newcastle (England)

11th College of Piping (Canada)

12th City of London (England)


Grade 3B

1st Haileybury (Australia)

2nd Cullybackey (Northern Ireland)

3rd Macanta (England)

4th Ross & Cromarty (Scotland)

5th Methil & District (Scotland)

6th Lower Clyde (Scotland)

7th Aven & District (France)

8th Ayr Society (Scotland)

9th Mid-Argyll (Scotland)

10th Arbroath (Scotland)

11th Niagara Regional Police (Canada)

12th Belgian Blend (Belgium)

13th Tweedvale (Scotland)

14th Scottish Borders (Scotland)


Grade 4A

1st Burntisland & District (Scotland)

2nd Syerla & District (Northern Ireland)

3rd Cape Breton Island (Canada)

4th Cloughfin (Northern Ireland)

5th Gransha (Northern Ireland)

6th Rothesay & District (Scotland)

7th Raphoe Ulster Scots (Republic of Ireland)

8th Kintyre Schools (Scotland)

9th Sri Dasmesh (Malaysia)

10th Ballyboley (Northern Ireland)

11th Kilbarchan (Scotland)

12th Uddingston Strathclyde (Scotland)


Grade 4B

1st Scots School Albury (Australia)

2nd Royal Army of Oman (Oman)

3rd Letterkenny & District (Ireland)

4th Govan Community (Scotland)

5th City of Aberdeen (Scotland)

6th City of Discovery (Scotland)

7th Altnaveigh Memorial (Northern Ireland)

8th Irvine Memorial (Scotland)

9th Bready Ulster Scots (Northern Ireland)

10th Barrhead & District (Scotland)

11th Dunoon Argyll (Scotland)

12th Fraserburgh Royal British Legion (Scotland)


2023 World Pipe Band Championships facts:

  • 190 bands, representing 15 countries, taking part. The A to Z line-up of nations competing, from Australia to Zimbabwe, features: Australia (5 bands), Belgium (2 bands), Canada (12 bands), Eire (8 bands), England (6 bands), France (2 bands), Israel (1 band), Malaysia (1 band), Netherlands (1 band), New Zealand (4 bands), Northern Ireland (21 bands), Oman (2 bands), Scotland (116 bands), USA (8 bands) Zimbabwe (1 band).
  • Around 8,850 pipers and drummers amassing on Glasgow Green (based on average number of band members) – all resplendent in their band uniforms of kilts in a variety of vibrant tartans, worn with sporrans and Glengarry bonnets
  • Just under 40,000 metres/40 km/25 miles of tartan kilt fabric. (Based on premium, traditional length. The length of material used in a kilt can vary from between 5 metres to around 7.5 metres)
  • Competitors ranging from juveniles and novice juveniles to experienced seniors.  Around 40% of the competitors are under 21; the youngest are in their early teens and the oldest are in their 70s.
  • Bands playing a wealth of traditional Scottish musical pieces. Playing requirements differ according to the band’s grade, from march time signatures at lower levels to MSRs (a set of tunes consisting of a march, a strathspey and a reel; three different simple time metres) or musical medleys of varying durations, at higher levels. Grade 1 bands play MSRs and a medley.
  • 103 trophies awarded across the 9 contest grades – plus the ultimate World Champions title.


All images courtesy Alan Harvey/SNS Group and Glasgow Life.

1 thought on “Peoples Ford Boghall & Bathgate Caledonia take the title of 2023 World Pipe Band Champions”

  1. Thanks for this round-up! I missed seeing any of Piping Live this year.

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