East meets West as Tattoo set to begin

In advance of the first performances this week, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo launched on Monday at Edinburgh Castle Esplanade, with a feast of colour and promising one of the most impressive examples of the event ever staged. 


Running from 7-29 August, the 66th Tattoo production follows the theme of East meets West in a celebration of the richness of international culture and the creative spirit of human endeavour. 

Over 1,200 performers, including 140 Chinese entertainers and 50 Bollywood dancers will thrill crowds with what the Tattoo has described as "a fertile fusion of military and cultural talent from around the globe." 

Chief Executive & Producer, Brigadier David Allfrey said:  

This year’s show is remarkable in so many ways.  It is bringing together some traditional allies and some new friends.  The performance is set to illustrate that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.  Some acts have taken a number of years to secure and we are delighted that a huge cast has come together from across the world, so elegantly, and with such a sense of common purpose.

Returning to the event are Swiss Top Secret Drum Corps from Basel, who will bring a newly developed act full of energetic percussion and pyrotechnics.

Brigadier Allfrey added:

Top Secret are already a firm favourite but they are set to perform faster than ever this year.  I watched them in performance in Basel just two weeks ago and... they were phenomenal!

The Tattoo will feature performers from Europe, America, Asia, Australasia and Canada, sharing the stage with top class performers from the British Armed Forces, including a special segment marking the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

International performers making their first appearance include the Changxing Lotus Dragon Dance Folklore Group and the United States Air Force Honour Guard.

There will also be performances each evening by over 70 of the finest highland dancers from Australia, United States, Canada, New Zealand and Scotland, plus the Shetland Fiddlers, a Bollywood Dance Extravaganza in association with Edinburgh Mela, and of course, the world-famous Massed Pipes and Drums. 

Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said: 

Once again The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo will place Scotland on the world stage, showcasing our rich cultural heritage to thousands of people across the world.
Through Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund, we are pleased to support The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo’s collaboration with The Edinburgh Mela to bring Bollywood to the esplanade this August. These dancers will a great addition to the performers from Australia, United States, Canada and New Zealand that make The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo a global event. Scotland looks forward to welcoming people from across the world to celebrate the music and entertainment that’s on offer.

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