For the world’s only bagpipe rock band, the road to recognition really does run through Ocean Shores in October. Celtica Pipes Rock packed the Convention Center again Saturday night as the 13th Annual Celtic Music Feis reached its climax.
Playing the festival for the third year, Celtica Pipes Rock repeatedly rocked the house at the festival’s home, Galway Bay Irish Pub, and at the Convention Center, where parking was completely full for their final sets of the six-day event. This international outfit put the bow on a big, brash package of performances that presented enthusiastic North Coast audiences with some new takes on their unique repertoire of rocked-up bagpipe tunes, both traditional and original, and rock classics rearranged to feature a pair of bagpipes.
The annual event is recognized as the largest Irish music festival on the West Coast. This year it brought 30 bands, solo artists and dance groups to nine separate stages, including the 8th Street Ale House in Hoquiam. An indication of the success of the event: At $125 each, VIP all-access tickets were sold out.
The six members of Celtic Pipes hail from Austria, Bulgaria and Scotland.
In an interview after their Saturday afternoon set, bandleader, composer and guitarist Gajus Stappen explained he always enjoyed bagpipe music and occasionally toyed with the idea “to found a Celtic rock band with bagpipes.”
“Of course, you need the right people to bring the concept to life and bring it to the stage,” he explained. Finally, in late 2009, the idea became a reality and Celtica Pipes Rock was born.
For several years, they’ve been travelling the well-worn path of letting strong, skilled performances build their reputation to the point where, today, they are nearly always top billed at all the events they play.
Celtica Pipes Rock members did their first shows in Ocean Shores in 2014 and now are headliners.
Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.