Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

One of the most iconic events on the festival calendar, this is a must see show for all the family.

Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo

The 2021 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo has been cancelled.

The event will return to the Edinburgh Castle Esplanade from 5th – 27th August 2022.

Set against the backdrop of Edinburgh’s imposing castle, The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is one of the most iconic events in Edinburgh's calendar. Bringing together audiences from across the globe, the Edinburgh Tattoo celebrates the skills and talents of military bands and display teams from the British Armed Forces, the Commonwealth and military teams throughout the world. 

There are few such moving festival moments, a fact to which any of the over 220,000 people who experience it live every year can attest – not to mention the further 100 million who watch television broadcasts of the event! Audiences get into the spirit and stamp and cheer to the sounds of the military pipes and drums, clap to the Highland Dancers and watch in awe at some of the daredevil feats of accomplished motorcyclists or intricate marching formations.

The sounds of the bands will be heard throughout the city, followed by the cheers of the audience, the roar of military jets flying over the city, and finally the glorious fireworks that colour the night sky. 

About the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Tattoo New Zealand Army Cr Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo

[Image credit: The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo]

A Mighty Military Pageant

The Tattoo began over 70 years ago, a pageant of military might and musical grace, and fast became one of Edinburgh's most iconic events. 

Expect spectacle: hundreds of dancers in the floodlights never setting a foot out of step, displays of marching and drumming prowess, and more bagpipes than you can ever imagine, playing in perfect harmony. What makes the whole thing even more impressive is the knowledge that it all comes together in just a few days of rehearsals!

The word itself comes from the Dutch "Doe den tap toe", the evening call that went out for bars to turn off their beer taps and send soldiers to their beds. The British army adopted it as a musical signal, performed each evening by the band, simultaneously a command and a form of evening entertainment - though after experiencing the impressiveness of the Tattoo yourself, you might be forgiven for ignoring orders and sneaking a wee dram o' whisky on the Royal Mile!

Savour the Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Tatoo Pipers Marching

The Edinburgh Tattoo takes place every weekday evening during the busy festival season, normally in August, with two performances on Saturday evening.  Visitors to the second performance on Saturday night will enjoy a spectacular fireworks display which illuminates the sky and cascades over the castle.

Performers from over 46 countries have taken part in the Edinburgh Tattoo, and around 30 per cent of the 220,000 audience each year are from overseas. The Tattoo is one of Edinburgh’s unique attractions, drawing crowds of all ages and backgrounds from across the country and around the world to sit in awe above the Castle Esplanade and savour the experience of a lifetime.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo further details > 


This page was created in collaboration with our friends at Festivals Edinburgh. Have a look at their website for more information on the fantastic festivals our city has to offer.

Forever Edinburgh: Loving every moment of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. 

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