Interested in hosting a pipe band competition at your next event?

Pipe Bands Queensland is eager to partner with event promoters who wish to incorporate a pipe band competition into their event.

Promoters should take the following considerations into account.

Timing and scheduling

  • Our full band contest season stretches from early March to late August (although August can be difficult due to key people attending the Scottish contest season).
  • Outside of these times Pipe Bands Queensland will endorse miniband and solo contests, but not full band contests.
  • Pipe Bands Queensland must approve the date you choose and may make suggestions to account for proximity to other contests, public holidays, and any other issues we have oversight of.
  • Contests take at least five hours to run.
  • There are four band grades and normally the contest will include all four and preferable also a juvenile contest, but for smaller contests, grades 1 and 2 can be combined into an open event.
  • If possible, we would like you to consider including solo competitions in the event. Usually this is done by having the solos in the morning with bands starting around lunchtime.

Pipe Bands Queensland controls all elements of the actual competition, including:

  • movement of bands across all parts of the contest area
  • starting and finishing times of all band performances
  • conduct of a massed band event at the end of the contest.

Pipe Bands Queensland reserves the right to alter timings and sequences from the planned schedule to cater for emerging situations, including weather.


The following list shows the minimum number of officials required; they will be appointed and provided by Pipe Bands Queensland:

  • Two piping judges
  • Two drumming judges
  • One dress/drill judge
  • One contest supervisor
  • One recorder
  • One chief marshal.

In larger contests, or if the contest is staged as a state championship, the number of judges will increase.

Note: If a promoting organisation has a suitably experienced person within their own ranks who can fill the role of recorder or chief marshal, they should, when applying for the contest, state their name(s) and Pipe Bands Queensland will decide whether they are suitable to fill those roles for the contest.

Fees and provisions

Pipe Bands Queensland asks the promoter to provide:

  • A suitable area free from cross-traffic and other disturbances. Generally an area of at least 40x40m will be required for the actual contest, as well as separate tuning and fine-tuning areas some distance away. We will mark the ground and also drive in a number of posts to mark the contest area. We will need to visit the site with you prior to the event to assess its suitability.
  • Chairs, tables, and tents for officials’ comfort and shelter from sun and rain.
  • Morning and/or afternoon tea for officials, plus lunch if it is a full-day contest.
  • Water available at all times for officials.
  • Public address system for announcements and calling events.
  • 240V power access to tents and a computer to record results.
  • Prizes, which can include money and/or certificates and/or trophies – sample schedules of prize money will be provided when you apply to host a contest.
  • Two or three marshals / runners and a timekeeper – Pipe Bands Queensland can advise them on the day
  • Payment for each official’s fee:
    • Full-day fee: $160
    • Half-day fee: $80 (four hours or fewer)
  • Payment for officials’ travel expenses if they have to travel a significant distance (if you request a judge from interstate or overseas, you will also need to reimburse their travel and accomodation).

If requested, or if sufficient local judges are not available, Pipe Bands Queensland may be able to arrange some of the above for you or assist with subsidies, but we cannot guarantee this – we must be alerted at least a month prior to a contest so we can provide you with a quote.

Pipe Bands Queensland will organise the following:

  • prepare and send out entry forms
  • receive entry forms and fees (to be paid over to you in bulk before the contest)
  • do the contest draw and draft the schedule for the day (subject to your approval)
  • advise the bands of the draw and other competition information
  • prepare a simple monochrome program to be handed out on the day on white 80gsm paper containing your logo and the details of the contest
  • provide a subsidy of three judge days (or three half days for a half day contest), which will be paid after the contest.

Promoters are welcome to manage some or all of these themselves; however, Pipe Bands Queensland will need to check entry forms before they go out; approve the program, draw and schedule; and coordinate closely with you, especially in the last few weeks before the contest. If we incur postage, copying, or any other expenses, we will charge you for those (based on an estimate we will provide you with beforehand).

Please contact us to discuss adding a pipe band competition to your event.