The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is back with a bang, welcoming fans for the first time in three years.
The tattoo, which was last held on the grounds of Edinburgh Castle in 2019 before the event was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, will see more than 900 performers 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 the audience would think, as more than 8,000 avid Tattoo fans flocked to the Castle Esplanade on Thursday’s preview night.
“This is where it really comes to life, the audience is half of the performance. The rehearsals looked great, but with the crowd in attendance it will take it to a whole new level,” he said.
“We have some new contemporary slots in the show, we’re doing some interesting new things with Scottish dance and also bagpipes, I don’t want to give too much away but we have a few surprises up our sleeve.
“But also the things that people really expect, the massive pipes and drums that come over the drawbridge, the military bands, the precision exercise, it’s a packed program this year.
“The secret is in hitting some bases. We know what the audience expects, but they also expect to be surprised and delighted, so we’re pretty sure we got it right based on the initial feedback. ”
On Friday, artists from around the world will be taking part in this year’s show Voices, whose creators said they were inspired by people around the world who, despite being divorced, continue to creatively connect and share their voices. through spoken word, song, music and dance.
The 2022 show will feature artists from Canada, Germany and Australia, in addition to other countries and homegrown talent from the UK.
The New Zealand Army Band will perform for the seventh time on the show, and Banda Monumental from Mexico will take to the stage with over 100 performers bringing dramatic costumes and the country’s bright carnival atmosphere.
Swiss sensation The Top Secret Drum Corps is also part of the 90-minute show, with their energetic precision drumming that has gained worldwide recognition since they first appeared at the Tattoo in 2003, as The United States Army Field Band made their show debut. makes military mash ups of traditional and contemporary hits.
Buster Howes, chief executive of the Tattoo, said: “I am blown away by the talent on display at rehearsals and I am confident that tonight the audience will be able to feel the electric atmosphere on the Esplanade.”
Running through August 27, the show opens with original composition and vocals from The Highland Divas and ends with a bang as fireworks light up the skyline over the 3,000-year-old fortress.
On Thursday, the Princess Royal told attendees she was “hugely grateful” for those who “rise to the challenge” to perform at the annual event.
Speaking to bands, dancers and singers from the “four corners of the world”, Anne said: “It is a great shame that we have not been able to do this in recent years.
“I hope you all know how much joy it brings to so many and what good it does.
“Most of all, I hope you enjoyed being a part of it, and from my perspective, thank you so much for giving me the time to do this.”