Like the Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, this annual event has gone from strength to strength since its creation, with performers from over 48 countries around the world having taken part over the years in this high-energy showcase on the Edinburgh Castle Esplanade.

In 2022, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo celebrated “Voices”. International performers from Mexico, the USA, Switzerland and New Zealand took to the stage, located on the iconic Edinburgh Castle Esplanade. “Stories” will be the focus in 2023, and the show will be a celebration of sagas, myths, and legends, transporting audiences on a journey of ideas - from the earliest campfire stories through to the world stage.

The History of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

In 1950 the British Army decided to showcase itself during the festival, leading to the forming of the first Tattoo. This event featured eight displays of piping and dancing on Edinburgh Castle Esplanade – a much smaller affair than today’s dazzling offering.

Having grown in size and reputation, the Tattoo is now hotly anticipated by fans from around the globe every year and has come to be regarded as an integral part of Edinburgh’s summer festivals.

Watched live annually by an audience of around 200,000, over 14 million people have enjoyed the show since it first debuted. The spectacle is also beamed to a staggering 100 million people around the world each year.

Explore Edinburgh’s Summer Festivals with us this year

Watch past Tattoo highlights