EVERY August thousands of tourists and locals alike climb Castle Hill to The Esplanade for one of the highlights of the Capital’s annual calendar, The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
For more than six decades, having been inspired by ‘a simple show called Something About a Soldier performed in 1949 at the Ross Bandstand’ the Tattoo has strived to bring the Army’s contribution to the Edinburgh International Festival to life.
Celebrating its 69th edition this year, after launching in 1950, The Tattoo is now a ‘global showcase at the Castle’, this year’s Tattoo runs from 2-24 August.
Entitled Kaleidoscope (after the Scottish optical instrument first patented by Sir David Brewster in 1817), the show will celebrate ‘glorious symmetries’ through precision-led performances with the British Army at the fore, complemented as ever by the Massed Pipes and Drums, Pipers Trail, the Tattoo Dance Company and Shetland Fiddler’s Hjaltibonhoga.
Also appearing will be Lyon-based Musique de l’Artillerie, the Artillery band of the French Army.
The current Band was formed in 2016 but military music has been played in the Rhône-Alpins region since the 18th century.
Under their Director of Music, Major Laurent Arandel, Musique de l’Artillerie will perform for the first time in the Capital in their characteristic blue uniforms, delivering a precision marching and musical display - with one or two surprises.
The band of 50 military musicians will join more than 1,200 performers at the Tattoo.
Producer Brigadier David Allfrey MBE says, “We have astonishing genetic, historic, military and cultural connections with France and even shared a common language at various points in our history.
“Today, our Defence Forces work closely together in a number of scenarios across the world and we are thrilled this relationship and our long-held alliances can be showcased and celebrated at the Tattoo.”
The Tattoo has sold out for the last 20 consecutive years and performs to a live audience of 220,000 annually and a further global TV audience of in excess of 100 million.
For tickets from £25, visit www.edintattoo.co.uk