Edinburgh tattoo is back with a bang as it returns after Covid cancellation

The Royal Edinburgh War Tattoo is back with a bang, welcoming fans for the first time in three years.

The tattoo, which was last performed on the grounds of Edinburgh Castle in 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic forced the event’s cancellation, will see more than 900 performers impress tens of thousands of visitors over the next month.

Michael Braithwaite, the show’s new creative director, said he can’t wait to hear what viewers think of it as more than 8,000 eager tattoo fans came to the Esplanade at the Castle on Thursday’s preview night.


The Swiss Top Secret Corps of Drums during a working rehearsal for this year’s Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Redford Barracks, Edinburgh (Jane Barlow/PA)

“Here everything really comes to life, the audience is half the show. The rehearsals looked great, but the presence of the audience will take them to a whole new level,” he said.

“We have some new modern slots in the show, we’re doing some cool new things with Scottish dancing as well as bagpipes, I don’t want to reveal too much but we have a couple of surprises. our sleeve.

“But also what people are really looking forward to, massive piping and drumming across the drawbridge, military bands, precision drills, this year’s program is packed.


Pipers and drummers take part in the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle (Jane Barlow/PA)

“The secret is to hit multiple bases. We know what viewers expect, but they also expect to be surprised and delighted, so we’re pretty confident based on initial feedback.”

On Friday, performers from all over the world will take part in this year’s Voices show, which the creators say was inspired by people from all over the world who, despite separation, continue to communicate and creatively share their voices through the spoken word, song, music. . and dance.

The 2022 show features performers from Canada, Germany and Australia, as well as other countries and homegrown talent from the UK.

The New Zealand Army Band will perform at the show for the seventh time, and Mexico’s Banda Monumental is taking the stage by storm with over 100 performers bringing dramatic costumes and the country’s vibrant carnival vibe.


The Princess Royal during a working rehearsal for this year’s Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo (Jane Barlow/PA)

Swiss sensation The Top Secret Drum Corps are also part of the 90-minute show, with their energetic precision drumming that has gained worldwide acclaim since they first appeared on Tattoo in 2003, while the US Army Field Band makes its debut. on the show, bringing a military mishmash. collections of traditional and modern hits.

Buster Howes, chief executive of Tatu, said: “I was blown away by the talent on display during rehearsals and I’m sure the audience will be able to experience the electrifying atmosphere at the Esplanade tonight.”

The show, which runs until August 27, opens with original composition and vocals from The Highland Divas and ends with an explosion as fireworks light up the skyline over the 3,000-year-old fortress.


Banda Monumental de Mexico members rehearse Thursday (Jane Barlow/PA)

On Thursday, the Princess Royal told attendees that she was “immensely grateful” to those who “took up the challenge” to perform at the annual event.

Addressing bands, dancers and singers from “the four corners of the world,” Ann said, “It’s a shame we couldn’t do that in the last couple of years.

“I hope you all know how much fun this brings to many and what benefits it brings.

“First of all, I hope you enjoyed being a part of this, and from my point of view, thank you very much for giving me the time to do this.”