The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

3 – 25 August 2018

There are few who can resist the stirring skirl of the pipes and the powerful crash of the drums at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo!

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 Edinburgh Castle Esplanade.

This year’s Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is led by The Royal Air Force, who are marking their 100 year anniversary. The 2018 theme is ‘The Sky’s the Limit’, and the show will also celebrate Scotland’s Year of Young People.

As ever, performers from around the world will take centre stage, including Switzerland's Top Secret Drum Corps and The Central Band of the Czech Armed Forces.

As well as pipes, Highland dancing and traditional performances from around the world, the Tattoo will feature dazzling music and lighting alongside impressive projections against the dramatic backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.


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.


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