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

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The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is back with a bang as it welcomes fans for the first time in three years.

Tito, which was last held in the grounds of Edinburgh Castle in 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic canceled the event, will see more than 900 artists wow tens of thousands of visitors over the next month.

Michael Braithwaite, the show’s new creative director, said he couldn’t wait to see what audiences thought of it, as more than 8,000 tattoo-savvy fans descended on Castle Esplanade on Thursday’s preview night.

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

“This is where it really comes alive, the audience is half the performance. Rehearsals have been great but having an audience will take it to a whole new level,” he said.

“We’ve got some new contemporary slots in the show, we’re doing some exciting new things with Scottish dance and with bagpipes, I don’t want to give too much away, but we’ve got some surprises up our sleeves.

“But also the things that people really look forward to, the massive pipes and drums coming across the bridge, the military bands, the precision drill, it’s a jam-packed program this year.

Members of the Massed Pipes and Drums taking part in the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle (Jane Barlow/PA) / PA Wire

“Raz is hitting a lot of bases. We know what the crowd is expecting but they also expect to be surprised and delighted so we’re pretty confident that we’ve got it right based on the initial feedback.

On Friday, artists from around the world are set to take part in this year’s show Voices, which its creators say is inspired by people around the world who, despite being separated, come together through spoken word, song and music. Creatively connecting and sharing their voices. and dancing.

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

New Zealand’s Army Band will make its seventh appearance at the show, and Mexico’s Banda Monumental will storm the stage with more than 100 performers in dramatic costumes and the country’s bright carnival atmosphere.

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

Swiss sensation The Top Secret Drum Corps are also part of the 90-minute show, with their passionate precision drumming that has gained worldwide recognition since they first appeared at Tattoo in 2003, while the United States Army Field Band opened his show with a military mash. – Ups of traditional and contemporary hits.

Tito’s chief executive, Buster Howes, said: “I have been blown away by the talent on display during rehearsals and I’m sure the audience will be able to feel the electric atmosphere on the Esplanade tonight.”

The show, which runs until August 27, opens with original compositions and vocals by The Highland Divas and ends with a bang as fireworks light up the skyline over the 3,000-year-old castle.

Members of the Banda Monumental de Mexico practice Thursday (Jane Barlow/PA) / PA Wire

On Thursday, the Princess Royal told attendees she was “extremely grateful” to those who “rose to the challenge” of performing at the annual event.

Speaking to bands, dancers and singers from “all four corners of the world”, Anne said: “It’s a shame we haven’t been able to do this for the last few years.

“I hope you all know what joy and benefit it brings to so many people.

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