The Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2010
Bagpiper Major Gavin Stoddart meets
Barbara of Edinburgh Castle Biz
at the launch of Edinburgh Tattoo Beer at the Edinburgh Caledonian Brewery.
The Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2010 celebrates over 50 years
of music and spectacle, set against the world famous backdrop
of Edinburgh Castle.
The Edinburgh Military Tattoo is the largest outdoor event in Edinburgh, attracting an annual audience of 217 000. In the Edinburgh Military Tattoo's 61 year history, over 30 countries have been represented amongst the participants.
The Edinburgh Military Tattoo is the most spectacular show
of it's type in the world, and the Edinburgh Military Tattoo
is enjoyed by an international television audience of over
In the glowing twilight, the floodlit Edinburgh Castle draws all eyes, a hush falls and darkness deepens. Then the great oak gates of Edinburgh Castle sweep open, and the swelling sound of hundreds of pipes and drums cracks through the night sky. Emotions run high: the Edinburgh Military Tattoo unfailingly enthrals, symbolising the Scotland that everyone holds dear in their heart.
Now a dazzling show is spread out on the Castle Esplanade, a whirling and colourful kaleidoscope of music, dance and display. It may be exciting - daredevil motorcycles at speed and the breathtaking re-enactment of battles, or exotic - Turkish music and Chinese dancers, or simply the best of Scottish - Highland dancers wheeling and swirling to a fiddle orchestra.
Then the audience gather themselves together for the finale of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. All 1000 or so performers on the Castle Esplanade, column after column of marchers, dancers and bandsmen. The Tattoo audience joins in a great chorus of singing, cheering, and applause; cries of 'Bravo!' before a hush falls for the singing of the Evening Hymn, the sounding of the Last Post and the lowering of the flags on the Castle.
Finally, all faces turn to the Edinburgh Castle ramparts, where a single spotlight cues the Lone Piper of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo to play his haunting lament, the high notes echoing across the still night sky and over the dark Edinburgh skyline, as the flames of the Castle torch lights and the piper's warming brazier flicker and slowly die.
At the Edinburgh Military Tattoo fireworks burst out from the Castle against the black sky, but the spell is not broken, for when the crowd sing Auld Lang Syne and shake their neighbour's hand, the emotions linger, and the heart is full. Goers to The Edinburgh Military Tattoo all united in international friendship, the shared love of Scotland, its music and its traditions.
The general format for the Edinburgh Military Tattoo has not really changed dramatically over the years - it has, however, evolved somewhat.
The programme Edinburgh Military Tattoo format is best described as four pillars:
Pillar 1 - The mainstay of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo is the Massed Pipes and Drums. This element has increased in size in the last few years and audiences can now expect to see a minimum of 10 pipe bands and military bands (i.e. 200 musicians) from Scottish regiments and the Commonwealth.
Pillar 2 - Massed Military Bands (brass and woodwind) are also key to the programme - the finest - Guards Bands, Royal Marines, Royal Air Force, etc. They can be relied on to provide the formal military marching music, as well as more modern and contemporary music.
Pillar 3 - The variety in the middle of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo programme is found from home and abroad - such things as Highland dancing and military displays from home. From overseas, a wide range of bands, cultural performances and displays, including military bands from the Commonwealth, USA & Europe, steel bands, and cultural groups such as: Zulus, Maoris, Aboriginals and Polynesians have all provided interest in Edinburgh Military Tattoo's of past.
Pillar 4 - The Finale of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The aim here is to present the whole cast on the Edinburgh Castle Esplanade, which is a spectacular sight, particularly with the unique Edinburgh Castle backdrop. The music is the culmination and climax of the event perhaps, emotional, even patriotic, certainly moving. Combined Bands and Pipes & Drums with choir and sometimes a solo singer. This is followed by the more traditional Evening Hymn and Sunset and the Lone Piper of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
Performers from five continents - Africa, North America, Asia, Australia and Europe - are set to feature amongst one of the biggest casts ever assembled at Edinburgh Castle for the 2004 Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
Colourful contributions are expected from the RAF's Massed Bands, and renowned RAF drill display team, The Queen's Colour Squadron, the South African Navy Band from Cape Town together with a large cultural and military contingent from India, and that world-famous spectacle of sight and sound, and very essence of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the Massed Pipes & Drums.
While for the very first time in Edinburgh Military Tattoo's history, the enchanting world of contemporary Chinese dance will be provided by an amazing dance troupe from Beijing, China, who will be accompanied by a 50-strong Chinese military band.
Tickets, priced £9.50 to £32.50, can be obtained from the Edinburgh Military Tattoo Ticket Sales Office.
Contact The Edinburgh Military Tattoo Ticket Office for tickets: