though the proccession was slightly less well-attended than in previous
years, Sunday's procession was much longer than it needed to be, and
was punctuated by gaps where some of the absent pipe bands should
have been... It was a bit on the sloppy side, in fact.
We should beware of letting ingenuity and economic considerations
(1999 featured clever and income-generating events) spoil something
as central to the festival as this famous procession, which over the
last ten years has acquired a tremendous reputation. Moreover, now
that Lorient has taken the lead in this domain, we should watch out
that other like-minded events don't steal the march over our festival.
It does seem that organisers of this kind of spectacle are all experiencing
difficulty in staging these massive gatherings. Firstly because of
the difficulty of getting the participants there, and paying them,
and especially so for musical ensembles, where piping contests are
time-consuming at the best of times. The Festival de Cornouaille is
just two weeks away from the bagad championship "finals", and this
may explain why half-a-dozen of the top groups where not there yesterday.
For the rest, the procession had loads of interest, and six of the
top pipe bands were unmistakably present and in full clamour. The
procession moved off as one, but waiting times gradually increased
as time went on, and the procession 's tail revealed ungainly time
lapses of up to five minutes, for example between the circle in front
of the Briec bagad, and again for the Scottish pipe band and Kemper
bagad. One might venture the opinion that there's some tightening
up to be done on the procession front..