Piper Arrested on Edinburghs Royal Mile for playing his Bagpipes too loudly

On Sunday 4th June a local piper was cuffed by the police in front of shocked tourists after playing his bagpipes too loudly, yes I’m serious,  bagpipes too loud    * head in hands*


John McDonald was arrested on Edinburghs historic Royal Mile.  He had been given a warning as part of a Edinburgh City Council/Police Scotland initiative to tackle noisy street performers, but because he refused to give the officers his details they took him into custody.

Fellow piper Thomas Wilson, 28, who saw the musician get arrested on Sunday, said: “None of us want hassle from the police. To get arrested for playing the pipes is disgraceful”.  He continued: “When they asked him for his details he refused — rightly in my opinion as he had done nothing wrong.  Buskers on the Royal Mile know neighbours don’t always appreciate it so we try to keep the level below 80 decibels.  We all play with bagpipes that output at half level — that’s the noise of an ambient street. We are trying to respect the local businesses.”


A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “Police in Edinburgh have received complaints from local residents and a councillor about excessive noise from bagpipe buskers on the Royal Mile over the last month”.

“Officers have engaged with the buskers by asking them to consider only playing on six days of the week to give the local residents some respite on one day but on the day concerned officers from the city centre Community Policing Team observed a bagpiper busking at Castlehill”
“The noise level was clearly excessive. The busker concerned was told to stop playing and issued with a ‘yellow card’ warning which outlines the relevant legislation. Once a recorded police warning has been issued, officers are required to record the busker’s details. The busker refused to comply with this and he was arrested. He was released later in the day.”

What next?  * shaking head*



About Nikki Laird

I am a daft kilt maker who loves finding out about new interesting information about Scotland and work here at ScotClans

View all posts by Nikki Laird →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *