The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Edinburgh, Scotland

3 days / 2 nights in a hotel in Edinburgh (EH postcode) only £239


This superb coach tour holiday with guaranteed entrance ticket for the 9pm Friday evening performance of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Edinburgh, Scotland, Great Britain, UK

Click here for a preview of the Edinburgh Tattoo

Tattoo

The British adopted the practice and it became a signal, played by a regiment's Corps of Drums or Pipes and Drums each night to tavern owners to turn off the taps of their ale kegs so that the soldiers would retire to their billeted lodgings at a reasonable hour. With the establishment of modern barracks and full Military bands later in the 18th century, the term Tattoo was used to describe not only the last duty call of the day, but also a ceremonial form of evening entertainment performed by Military musicians.

Although the first Tattoo in Edinburgh, entitled "Something About a Soldier", took place at the Ross Bandstand at Princes Street Gardens in 1949, the first official Edinburgh Military Tattoo began in 1950 with just eight items in the programme. It drew some 6000 spectators seated in simple bench and scaffold structures around the north, south and east sides of the Edinburgh Castle esplanade. In 1952, the capacity of the stands was increased to accommodate a nightly audience of 7700, allowing 160,000 to watch live performances each year.

Military tattoo is a military drum performance. Tattoo nowadays also include the army displays more than just the drum performances. Tattoo was originally started in the seventeenth century when the British Army was fighting in the Low Countries. One of the best known Tattoo events is held on the Esplanade in front of Edinburgh Castle each August. This palace forms the center piece of the annual Edinburgh Festival.

Tattoo Fact File

  1. The first Edinburgh Tattoo took place in 1950. There were eight items in the programme.
  2. More than 12 million people have attended the Tattoo. The annual audience is around 217,000.
  3. Around 100 million people see the Tattoo each year on international television.
  4. Approximately 70 per cent of each audience is from outwith Scotland. Half of these are from overseas.
  5. Each year 100,000 people visit the Tattoo's new attraction at the top of the Royal Mile. The Spirt of the Tattoo - the compelling story of Edinburgh's Military Tattoo, featuring an interactive exhibition, movie theatre and gift shop.
  6. The first commercial twelve inch stereo LP record of the Tattoo was released in 1961.
  7. 2009 marked the Tattoo’s eleventh successive sell-out season, generating some £6.2 million in box office receipts.
  8. Around 35 miles of cabling (the distance from Edinburgh to Glasgow) is required.
  9. The event was first seen in colour on TV in 1968.
  10. From 1950 to 1991, there were four producers - Lt Col George Malcolm of Poltalloch, Brigadier MacLean, Brigadier Sanderson and Lt Col Dow.
  11. 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 in March 2007.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Hollywood movie producer Mike Todd, the fourth husband of film star Elizabeth Taylor, made a documentary programme on the Tattoo in 1950.
  15. Not a single performance of the Tattoo has ever been cancelled.
  16. The Tattoo is set up and run for charitable purposes. Over the years, it has gifted some £5 million to service and civilian organisations.
  17. At the last official independent count, visitors to the Tattoo contributed an estimated £88 million to the Scottish economy.
  18. The Tattoo has always been staged at Edinburgh Castle. Rehearsals take place at Redford Barracks in Edinburgh.
  19. Over 40 countries have been represented at the Tattoo.
  20. The word ‘tattoo’ comes from the closing-time cry in the inns in the Low Countries during the 17th and 18th centuries - ‘Doe den tap toe’ (‘Turn off the taps’).