The popular West Lothian Highland Games abandoned for good

Organizers of the West Lothian Highland Games have announced that the popular event will no longer take place.

The games – a highlight of the calendar for traditional bands, dancers and spectators – will not return due to rising costs and declining attendance.

Committee members said they made the difficult decision not to bring the event back. It was last held in 2019 as the last two events were canceled due to covid.

Rising costs, availability of sponsorships and concerns about potential attendance due to weather and/or covid are the main reasons for the move.

Beginning as the Bathgate Highland Games in 1972, the event has taken place on the last Saturday in May ever since, attracting families from West Lothian and across Scotland to enjoy bagpipes, Highland dancing, heavy sports and more again.

It hosted the British Pipe Band Championships for three years, attracting some of the best pipe bands in the world to West Lothian.

West Lothian Highland Games Committee Chairman Alex Linkston said: “We regret to confirm that the West Lothian Highland Games will not be returning.

“A big thank you to all the sponsors, committee members and chefs over the years for their incredible support.

“Our heartfelt gratitude also goes to all groups, competitors and everyone who has attended the games over the past 50 years for their support. The costs of hosting the games in 2019 were over £30,000 and have increased considerably since then.

“Uncertainty over sponsorship and potential event revenue
This means we have made the difficult decision that it is not financially viable to bring the West Lothian Highland Games back in the current climate.

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Jennifer R. Strohm