Following military contributions to the Edinburgh International Festival of Music and Drama in 1948 and 1949, the Tattoo has cut a distinctive path since 1950. Next year, the world-class event will celebrate its 70th birthday, honouring the traditional anniversary gift for this occasion, under the theme ‘The Platinum Edition’.
The show will pay homage to the Tattoo’s sustained legacy in Edinburgh over the past seven decades including its enduring ability to link the Armed Forces with society and bring people together to celebrate the cultures and heritage of allies and friends.
Next year’s show will commemorate the rich maritime heritage of the Royal Navy and tie into Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters. The Royal Navy, known as the Senior Service for being the eldest of the British Armed Forces, is the lead for 2020. They will join an international cast of more than 1,000 for a 100-minute programme set to music and beautifully lit on the Castle Esplanade.
2020 will also mark the final year for Brigadier David Allfrey MBE, the Tattoo’s outgoing Chief Executive and Producer. After nearly ten years leading the military event and contributing more widely to Scotland’s brand and reputation as a ‘bucket list’ destination, Allfrey will retire next December following what is set to be another incredible show staged by the Tattoo team.
Launching ‘The Platinum Edition’ today at the Ross Bandstand, the site of the first performances of the Tattoo, Brigadier David Allfrey said:
“Next year’s show has been in planning for some time. It is a tremendous achievement for the Tattoo to have developed and sustained a loyal and growing audience over 70 years. The show is remarkable in that it appeals to such a broad audience across the generations. I am very proud to have played a part in the story and thrilled to be leading it all in our grand anniversary year.
“Platinum is an amazing element. It is valuable, durable and a catalyst in chemical ‘reactions’ helping other ingredients to work well together. So too is the Tattoo! I believe the Tattoo has made its mark not just here in Scotland but also on international stages. This coming year, we are taking stock of all that has been achieved over the years and looking forward to what lies ahead.
“We will reveal the cast line-up in due course but we promise to bring together all the traditional elements of the Massed Pipes and Drums including our own Pipers Trail, the Massed Military Bands, the gentle music of Hjaltibonhoga, the energy and athleticism of the Tattoo Dance Company and the atmospheric and individual talent of The Lone Piper. All this with a huge score, cutting edge sound technology, world-class lighting and projections and special effects. Above all though, it is the international cast of musicians, dancers and other performers that deliver the true magic. They are hugely impressive as individuals and together they can deliver truly remarkable performances every night without fail.
“We are hugely proud to have sold out for the last 21 consecutive seasons and the demand for tickets continues to be high with the Tattoo being a prime reason to travel to Scotland for many of our guests. This year we are determined to deliver a hallmark show that entertains and inspires - fit for our anniversary and the city that is our home.”
Organisers will reveal the full cast line-up next year but are calling on fans to snap up their tickets for what is expected to be another sell-out year. The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo performs to a live audience of 220,000 at Edinburgh Castle each August with TV audiences reaching 100 million people.
The Tattoo continues its ambitions to develop its international influence by securing overseas tours reaching a multi-channel audience of up to a billion and doubling its turnover to £20 million by 2025. The first of this new run of overseas tours took the Tattoo to Sydney this October where they played to an audience of 124,000 in Sydney’s famous ANZ Stadium.
Tickets for the ‘The Platinum Edition’ are available to purchase directly from the Tattoo’s official website at edintattoo.co.uk or by calling +44  131 225 1188. Customers can also purchase in person at the Tattoo office at 1-3 Cockburn Street in Edinburgh from 9 December 2019. Ticket prices range from £25 to £90, with Premier Seats, Royal Gallery and Hospitality Packages starting from £130.