Tattoo breaks records and delivers dollars Down Under
The organisers of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo have released details of the event's recent highly successful tour to Australia and New Zealand, and news that they're already looking ahead to new destinations including Asia and the Middle East.
Delivering only the fourth major international run in its 66 year history, the Tattoo offered nine shows in mid-February, playing to a total audience of around 240,000 - more even than the 220,000 who pack the stands at Edinburgh Castle each August.
Brigadier David Allfrey expressed his delight at the trip's success:
We are hugely proud of all that has been achieved last month; the way so many elements came together elegantly and the amazing response from our audiences. Ticket sales were phenomenal and we were well supported by Red Live Events, the New Zealand Festival and the cities of Melbourne and Wellington.
The Tattoo's southern sojourn saw record-breaking performer numbers and is estimated to have been worth AU$87 million, representing over AU$37.5 million in gross revenue, and an estimated AU$50 million in additional value for the local economies of the two host countries.
Over 1300 international military and civilian musicians formed the core performance, with a further 200 Māori bringing the total to around 1500 performers - a new record for the largest cast ever seen at the Tattoo.
In a joint statement, Menna Rawlings, British High Commissioner to Australia and Jonathan Sinclair, British High Commissioner to New Zealand added:
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo has been an outstanding success ‘Down Under’.
Not only does it bring a joyous celebration of music, culture and creativity, it helps us promote Scotland and the wider UK in Australia and New Zealand along with hard-edged political and economic opportunities.
With the huge success of the Australia/New Zealand trip in mind, Tattoo organisers are now considering possible trips to China, Jordan and the Gulf Region in 2018 and 2020.
Brigadier Allfrey explained:
We are working to develop a major Gulf and Jordanian project over the next two years. The plan is to create a substantial touring show which showcases the wealth of Arabian talent alongside major Tattoo acts drawn from around the world. Beyond that, we aspire to take the show to Beijing.
For now though, the next item on the Tattoo's agenda is this summer's home performances back at Edinburgh Castle.
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo takes place from 5-27 August 2016. Find out more, including links for programme information and ticketing, on our Tattoo page.