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Flashmob: 116 bagpipers played in front of Cologne cathedral

Flashmob : 116 bagpipers played in front of Cologne cathedral

116 musicians produced a goosebumps moment in front of Cologne cathedral on Saturday. They played “Highland Cathedral” on the bagpipes, the original melody of a Cologne classic. The flashmob was organised by the Nutscheid Forest Pipe Band.

It is a melody that everyone from Cologne should be familiar with. However, most of those present were probably unaware that it was “Highland Cathedral” ringing out from bagpipes in front of Cologne cathedral on Saturday afternoon. Cologne residents were more likely to be thinking of “Du bes die Stadt” by the Bläck Föös, who covered the Scottish tune in 2008. 116 musicians caused great delight in front of the cathedral on Saturday. Bagpipers from all over Europe had come for a flashmob. The event was organised - for the third time after 2014 and 2017 – by the Nutscheid Forest Pipe Band from Ruppichteroth.

The musicians exceeded the 100 participant mark for the first time on Saturday. In 2017 there were just under 60 participants. The bands met on Saturday at the cathedral multi-storey car park to assemble and warm up. And then it started. The musicians formed an ever-growing circle in front of Cologne cathedral and showed their musical ability. The bands then moved in individual groups through Cologne city centre down Hohe Straße to Alter Markt with bagpipes, drums and brandishing the Scottish flag.

“A day to remember”, wrote the organisers on their Facebook page, as could also be seen from the photos and videos taken by participants and passersby on Saturday and shared on social media networks.

“You either love bagpipe music or hate it,” said Marcel Mertens, pipe major and chairman of the Nutscheid Forest Pipe Band Association, in an interview with the GA two years ago. Passersby in Cologne clearly loved the music, not least because of “Highland Cathedral.”

Original text: Sebastian Fink
Translation: kc