Piping Live! and Glasgow designer collaborate on bespoke bagpipe design to highlight mental health awareness
Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival has teamed up with one of Glasgow’s top designers. While the brief was to create a cool new bag cover for bagpipes which aided comfort for the player, an inspired idea to incorporate a hidden mental health message in the cover aligned with the festival’s aim to support SAMH, the Scottish Association of Mental Health.
Each year Piping Live! is opened with the Big Band – a spectacular parade which sees players of all abilities, from piping novices to world champions, march through the streets of Glasgow to raise money for Piping Live’s chosen charity. This year, the Big Band will take to the streets in aid of the Scottish Association of Mental Health (SAMH), Scotland’s leading mental health charity, which offers mental health social care support across Scotland.
Owner of Forty clothing, Harry Miller, and his team have created the bespoke cover using a specially-made reflective material to create a hidden message on the bag, which is only visible when a photo is taken with the flash on.
The final design will be unveiled on the first day of Piping Live! when it returns to Glasgow from 13-19 August, bringing over 50,000 music fans, families and tourists to the city to enjoy 200 events and 8,000 performers.
The collaboration is part of Piping Live!’s #MomentsThatMatter campaign, which celebrates bagpipes being at the heart of so many of life’s big moments. This year’s campaign theme is based around VisitScotland’s Year of Young People, which celebrates the very best of Scotland and its young people through a year-long programme of cultural activities.
Since many young adults who are battling mental health issues turn to music as a way of self-expression, Piping Live! is inviting them to be part of the piping community, whether that be signing up to take part in the Big Band, attending one of the many concerts on offer such as Fred Morrison, Assynt or Hamish Napier, or celebrating the music of the highlands and the language of Piping at the Ceòl nam Pìobairean, Piping Live! has something for everyone. The festival is also encouraging pipers to share their stories and the positive impact that being part of a pipe band has had on their lives.
Roddy MacLeod Festival Director of Piping Live said;
“We’re thrilled to bring back the Piping Live! Big Band which, this year, is in association with SAMH. Mental health is a huge topic for us at Piping Live! and we feel strongly about encouraging young people to talk openly about their mental health.
“Harry is so passionate in what he does, a quality that is shared by the pipers who participate in Piping Live! or the fans that travel across the world for the festival. We look forward to welcoming everyone to this year’s festival – whether you’re an experienced piper or someone who is looking to try something new – there’s an opportunity for everyone to take part in Piping Live!”
Harry Miller, Owner of Forty said;
“We’re excited to be joining forces with the team at Piping Live! to help tackle the stigma around mental health in young people. It’s an honour to be asked to collaborate with Piping Live! Mental health is something that is incredibly close to my heart. Their partnership with SAMH for the Big Band project is a great opportunity for everyone to get involved with Piping Live! whilst raising awareness of an issue that affects so many young people.
“The design of the bag is symbolic of how someone suffering from mental health problems can look perfectly happy on the outside or on social media but on the inside, it can often be a different story. I can’t wait to unveil the final design at Piping Live! next month – see you then.”
Sign up for the Piping Live! Big Band Partnership here
Tickets for Piping Live! are on sale now via www.pipinglive.co.uk