Set against the backdrop of Edinburgh’s imposing castle, The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is one of the most iconic events in Edinburgh's calendar.

Bringing together audiences from across the globe, the Edinburgh Tattoo celebrates the skills and talents of military bands and display teams from the British Armed Forces, the Commonwealth and military teams throughout the world.

Performers from over 48 countries have taken part in the Tattoo, and around 30 per cent of the 220,000 audience each year are from overseas.

In addition to this, the Tattoo has been televised in more than 40 countries. An annual television audience of 100 million watches the coverage worldwide. The international flavour of the Tattoo has been deliberately developed as a key element in its capacity to entertain a huge, cosmopolitan audience.

The Tattoo's unique ability to bring together thousands of people for this annual celebration of music and entertainment continues and the public's appetite for pomp and ceremony shows no sign of diminishing.

Tattoo History

  • The first Edinburgh Tattoo took place in 1950 and there were eight items in the programme.
  • Hollywood movie producer Mike Todd, the fourth husband of film star Elizabeth Taylor, made a documentary programme on the Tattoo in 1950.
  • The first overseas regiment to participate was the Band of the Royal Netherlands Grenadiers. The year was 1952, and there were also performers from Canada and France.
  • The first commercial twelve inch stereo LP record of the Tattoo was released in 1961.
  • The event was first seen in colour on TV in 1968.
  • The first lone piper was Pipe Major George Stoddart. He played in every performance for the first eleven years. His son, Major Gavin Stoddart, followed his father as lone piper at the Tattoo and became Director of Army Bagpipe Music for 12 years.
  • From 1950 to 1991, there were four producers - Lt Col George Malcolm of Poltalloch, Brigadier MacLean, Brigadier Sanderson and Lt Col Dow.
  • Major Michael Parker then took over as producer for the 1992, 1993 and 1994 Tattoos. He was succeeded by Brigadier Melville Jameson in 1995, who in turn was followed by Major General Euan Loudon from March 2007-2010. Brigadier David Allfrey, a former Commander of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, has been producer of the Tattoo since 2011.

Join Lifestyle Tours to see the world-famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and tour the English countryside, surrounded by sleepy villages and lakes set amidst mountains that have inspired centuries of literature, and cities thriving with British art and culture.

Lifestyle Tours presents British Landscapes featuring the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo August 15 - 24, 2019.

Sources:

https://www.edintattoo.co.uk/the-experience/about-the-tattoo/

https://www.edintattoo.co.uk/beyond-the-ramparts/history-of-the-tattoo/

https://edinburgh.org/discover/edinburgh-festivals/royal-edinburgh-military-tattoo/