The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo came back from a two-year hiatus and the 2022 edition “has been a roaring success” according to the British Army. The latter led a spectacular production of more than 800 performers from around the world.
A military Tattoo can be understood as a performance of military music. But the practice has evolved into elaborate shows involving theatrics, lightning, and fireworks.
This year’s edition returned after it was canceled in 2020 and 2021 as a result of the pandemic but it came back bigger and better than ever before.
The international military music event offered a unique opportunity to celebrate the remarkable history and wealth of military music from around the globe.
This year event offered a blend of military and civilian acts that was cheered on by the 9000-strong crowd every night for 25 nights in Agust.
The British army website reports that the theme of this year’s edition has been ‘Voices’, proving that despite cultural and geographical distances we are all connected through song, music, and dance.
The military music event was staged on the magnificent Edinburgh Castle Esplanade from 5-27 August.
While the UK military acts were playing a central role in the shows, those from Mexico, The United States, Germany, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand along with homegrown talent from the UK have all showcased their extraordinary talents as ever.
With the Army as the lead service this year, audiences have been treated to the legendary sound of the Massed Pipes and Drums, The Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, British Army Bands Colchester and Sandhurst, The Countess of Wessex’s String Orchestra, and The Royal Highland Fusiliers with support from many Pipes and Drums bands and other military musicians.
The Edinburgh Tattoo has a long and glorious history, dating back to 1949 when as part of The Edinburgh International Festival of Music and Drama, a piece called ‘Something About a Soldier was performed at the Ross Bandstand in Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens.
It was soon followed by a production of ‘The King’s Men’ on the Edinburgh Castle Esplanade for a standing audience of 2,500.
The Provost of Edinburgh, Sir Andrew Murray, asked the General Officer Commanding the Army in Scotland to present a military ‘show’ to be called the Edinburgh Tattoo and in 1950 the first Edinburgh Tattoo was born. The production included eight acts and attracted an audience of 100,000 visitors.
The Tattoo has had some notable firsts – in 1953, to celebrate the coronation of Her Majesty The Queen, the military bands that had taken part in the coronation also participated in the Tattoo, and in 1968 was broadcast on television in color for the first time.
And this year two sets of brothers, including identical twins from The Royal Regiment of Scotland, are leading the Pipes and Drums marking a historical moment for the regiment.
The Muir twins are Pipe Major and Drum Major of the 3rd Battalion and the Grant brothers are Pipe Major and Drum Major of the 4th Battalion.