One of the biggest annual musical events in Scotland, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is a grand display of military bands. It takes place every year as part of the Edinburgh Festival.
Every night of the August Edinburgh Festival, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo take to the streets in their spectacular regimental performance, led by pipes and drums with fireworks accompanying the concert. The Tattoo is televised in 30 countries around the world and performers have included many international military bands alongside the traditional British Armed Forces.
Concerts of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, each lasting about 90 minutes, take place each night in August on the Esplanade of Edinburgh Castle. This iconic historic landmark is centrally located in the Scottish capital and forms one end of the famed Royal Mile.
“Tattoo” may seem like a strange term to apply to a music festival, but it has its roots in a 17th century Dutch phrase. “Doe den tap toe” translates to “turn off the tap”. Regimental drum corps used to play a signal for taverns to end service and ensure soldiers went to bed at a reasonable time each night, which eventually developed into a general end-of-day ceremony in the barracks and the 1950s became a public performance in Edinburgh.