2016 Celebrates Tunes of Glory

Tunes of Glory

Today (Monday 1 August), The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo unveiled its programme for the 2016 event, taking place from 5 – 27 August.  Showcasing a phenomenal mix of military pageantry, music, dance, technical wizardry and special effects brings together contingents from across the world.  The 2016 military spectacle is set to pay tribute to Her Majesty The Queen's 90th year, mark the anniversary of The Battle of Jutland and the Great Arab Revolt and marking the rich history of military music in Tunes of Glory.

Against the spectacular backdrop of Edinburgh Castle, Scotland’s top tourist attraction will see a cast of over 1,200 performers, over 250 pipers and drummers, Jordanian cavalry soldier, five British Military Bands and one or two incredible surprises - including a family favourite musical performance from the US Army Europe Band.

With over £250,000 invested in high-specification projections technology, this year’s showcase will deliver a spectacular array of moving visuals, illuminating the Castle, bringing the show to life and adding special vibrancy to every performance. The team behind the projections also worked on Danny Boyle’s famous 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony and are set to add an extra special touch to the 66th year of the event. 

Delivering a unique experience for residents and tourists, the event, which hosts 25 performances in August, will bring everyone together on one of the world’s most famous stages. Ticket sales are already high with 2016 set to be the event’s eighteenth consecutive sell-out year – performing to a live audience of 220,000 in Scotland’s capital and a huge television audience across the globe.  

 Highlights this year include:

  • The Jordanian Royal Guard, Band and Drill Team will join this year’s cast to mark 100 years since the Great Arab Revolt and tell the story of one of history’s most famous battles
  • A magical snowfall across the Esplanade and as Mount Everest is revealed on Edinburgh Castle, the Nepal Army Band will celebrate their homeland and links with the United Kingdom.
  • Tattoo favourites, the 38-strong Imps Motorcycle Display Team will return for another year, riding to their own ‘Tunes of Glory’.  
  • Everyone’s favourite, Massed Pipes and Drums will make a thunderous return as the sounds of eleven Regimental and Commonwealth bands, comprising over 250 pipers & drummers, tuned to perfection, will ring out across the capital
  • The Royal Air Force, will open the show in spectacular style with impressive flypast on selected evenings including a planned flypast by the world famous Red Arrows on Saturday 6 August at 7.30pm. This year, the flights are scheduled for: August 6, 10, 17, 19 and 24

Brigadier David Allfrey, Chief Executive and Producer of The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, said: 

“Each and every year, we look to inspire a new generation of Tattoo devotees.  We reach out into over 90 countries and normally have more than 20 nationalities represented in the cast.  While we so enjoy welcoming a diverse international audience to Edinburgh every year, at this time, we think we have a special imperative: to celebrate the unique nature of every nation and their wonderful differences.”

“We work hard over a number of years to bring each season together and it is stunning when we can see all the contingents enjoying themselves and being inspired by the parts that others are playing.  When the cast are in high spirits the audience cannot help but feel involved!  The atmosphere rubs off.  Add to this, world class technical support and our very special sense of place - the glorious Edinburgh Castle - it makes for a compelling combination.  So many of our customers talk about a visit to the Tattoo being one of life’s great experiences.  We are very proud of this marque and the contribution we make to the atmosphere in Edinburgh at festival time and to the broader experience of our guests when they come to Scotland.”  

“The Tattoo Team relish the opportunity to deliver a completely new show each year.  And, while we strive to bring fresh ingredients into the production at each turn we always look to remain authentic and true to our heritage and values.  We look to set just the right balance between ‘the new’ and ‘the familiar’.  Most importantly, I believe the Tattoo offers something for everyone.  We will often see 3 generations enjoying the show together - a shared moment.  And, we watch every evening new friendships forming.  Our Storyteller exhorts the audience each night to ‘Arrive as Strangers - Leave as Friends’ and so often this becomes a wonderful reality.”

“We are particularly proud to add our celebration to Her Majesty The Queen’s special year while marking other important anniversary’s: Jutland and the Great Arab Revolt.  Above all though, the music is the star. This year, we have developed a fabulous score bursting with incredible tunes. For those that attend, I hope the evening will be hugely entertaining and even inspirational.”

“Last year, we were described as ‘one of the greatest shows on earth’.  This is a huge and uncommon accolade and we have been rewarded with tickets selling at a ferocious pace; faster than at any time since I have been the Producer.  There remains an extraordinary call for seats and often we are unable to satisfy the demand.  This said, we have ‘returns’ each day, from folk who cannot attend for one reason or another and it always worth a quick call to the Box Office to see what seats might have come available - even at the last minute.”

Chair of The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh Donald Wilson, said: “The Tattoo is so much more than a show; it lies at the heart of Scotland’s event culture. It’s an amazing treat to have it situated right in the heart of the capital and year-on-year, the Tattoo showcases the City of Edinburgh to the whole world. It brings people together, no matter where you are from or what language you speak, while celebrating global cultures and traditions. This year’s spectacle will travel through time back to the Great Arab Revolt; across seasons with a magical Mount Everest snowfall; and through space with a Star Wars motorcycle display. I can’t wait for Scotland and the world to enjoy what the Tattoo has in store this year.”

Some tickets for the 2016 Tattoo (5 - 27 August), priced £25 to £300, can still be purchased online at: www.edintattoo.co.uk/tickets, or by telephone on +44 (0)131 225 1188, or in person from the Tattoo Ticket Sales Office at 1 Cockburn Street in Edinburgh.