Tattoo Fact File
- The first Edinburgh Tattoo took place in 1950. There were eight items in the programme.
- More than 12 million people have attended the Tattoo. The annual audience is around 217,000.
- Around 100 million people see the Tattoo each year on international television.
- Approximately 70 per cent of each audience is from outwith Scotland. Half of these are from overseas.
- Each year 100,000 people visit the Tattoo's new attraction at the top of the Royal Mile. The Spirt of the Tattoo - the compelling story of Edinburgh's Military Tattoo, featuring an interactive exhibition, movie theatre and gift shop.
- The first commercial twelve inch stereo LP record of the Tattoo was released in 1961.
- 2011 marked the Tattoo’s thirteenth successive sell-out season, generating some £7.6 million in box office receipts.
- Around 35 miles of cabling (the distance from Edinburgh to Glasgow) is required.
- The event was first seen in colour on TV in 1968.
- From 1950 to 1991, there were four producers - Lt Col George Malcolm of Poltalloch, Brigadier MacLean, Brigadier Sanderson and Lt Col Dow.
- Major Michael Parker then took over as producer for the 1992, 1993 and 1994 Tattoos. He was succeeded by Brigadier Melville Jameson in 1995, who in turn was followed by Major General Euan Loudon in March 2007.
- The first overseas regiment to participate was the Band of the Royal Netherlands Grenadiers. The year was 1952, and there were also performers from Canada and France.
- The first lone piper was Pipe Major George Stoddart. He played in every performance for the first eleven years. His son, Major Gavin Stoddart, followed his father as lone piper at the Tattoo and became Director of Army Bagpipe Music for 12 years.
- Hollywood movie producer Mike Todd, the fourth husband of film star Elizabeth Taylor, made a documentary programme on the Tattoo in 1950.
- Not a single performance of the Tattoo has ever been cancelled.
- The Tattoo is set up and run for charitable purposes. Over the years, it has gifted some £5 million to service and civilian organisations.
- At the last official independent count, visitors to the Tattoo contributed an estimated £88 million to the Scottish economy.
- The Tattoo has always been staged at Edinburgh Castle. Rehearsals take place at Redford Barracks in Edinburgh.
- Over 40 countries have been represented at the Tattoo.
- The word ‘tattoo’ comes from the closing-time cry in the inns in the Low Countries during the 17th and 18th centuries - ‘Doe den tap toe’ (‘Turn off the taps’).
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