I would not have nearly the level of fame and local celebrity status that I do anywhere else. Quickly people in Portland saw the unipiper and they kind of unofficially made me the mascot of the city, with the whole “keep Portland weird” thing—I kind of became the poster child for keep Portland weird. Now I feel a certain level of responsibility to do my part to keep on keeping Portland weird!
For nearly 10 years, Brian Kidd, going by his aptly named alter-ego, The Unipiper, has been delighting crowds across the globe with his genre-bending portrayals of pop culture icons playing flame spouting bagpipes while riding a unicycle. Watch the Unipiper long enough and you are sure to see the likes of Super Mario, Gandalf, Jack Sparrow, and the most famous of all, Darth Vader.
The Unipiper’s YouTube videos have made him a viral sensation, amassing millions of views, and are responsible for his cult-like following. The Unipiper got his start rolling and piping the streets of Portland, Oregon, the city he calls home. The overwhelming response to his impromptu performances was immediate and quickly earned him celebrity status. Demand for The Unipiper
skyrocketed and performances expanded to include birthdays, weddings, bar Mitzvahs, parades, street fairs, professional sporting events, and television commercials. The Unipiper can still be heard throughout Portland, making his way from beer festival to farmer’s market, performing wherever there’s a crowd.
“People are constantly telling me how I’ve become a symbol for this city, and as long as that holds true, I have a great responsibility,” he says pointing to his bagpipes, emblazoned with the words “This Machine Keeps Portland Weird”. According to Brian, The Unipiper is out to challenge people’s expectations and redefine the word
‘possible’ when it comes to the bagpipes. When asked about future plans for the Unipiper, Brian says, “there’s no roadmap for being The Unipiper, but one thing is for certain: The Unipiper will continue to surprise and in ways you might least expect. Keeping people on their toes is what I’m good at.”