Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2022

Submitted by edg on Tue, 23 Nov '21 5.30pm
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Edinburgh Military Tattoo mass pipes and drums
Time & place
Times
to
Tickets and info
Telephone (info)
0131 225 4783
Telephone (box office)
0131 225 1188
Description

For scale, no show in Edinburgh can rival the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Literally hundreds of performers, both from Scotland and bands and outfits from abroad, gather under the dramatic backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.

The series of displays, which take place on the castle esplanade (an 18th century parade ground), combine breathtaking shows of military precision, often a battle re-enactment, military bands, traditional dancers, and a rousing finale of mass pipes and drums, topped by the lone piper playing from the castle battlements.

The "ultimate crowd-pleaser", as former Edinburgh Lord Provost George Grubb called the Tattoo, sells out each year long before its Summer performances, with armies of people coming to Edinburgh by bus and coach each night during the Festival.

The Tattoo takes place daily during its August run, with the fireworks finale punctuating the city evenings.

Tattoo 2022  

The Tattoo has promised to return with a bang in 2022 with the theme of "Voices". It will continue to celebrate the history, heritage and colour of Scotland's global family over the course of the 100-minute programme, but will incorporate a new ethos of greater innovation and creativity that it calls "Performance in a New Light". 

The Tattoo has formed a new lighting design partnership with Woodroffe Basset Design, which it says will allow newly appointed Creative Director Michael Braithwaite to produce "a more emotionally charged performance than ever before".

As well as a major home contingent, such as The Tattoo's own "house band" the Piper's Trail, Tattoo Dance Company, and Shetland fiddlers Hjaltibonhoga, the show's 1000 or so performers includes military bands and performers from across Europe, the Far East, Central and South America.

An essential component on the night is the rousing gathering of the Massed Pipes and Drums, among them The Royal Regiment of Scotland, and the Bands of Her Majesty's Royal Marines. The show's big bangs and fireworks display thunder across Edinburgh each night, particularly on Fridays and Saturdays when the Tattoo holds an extended fireworks display.

The Tattoo traditionally draws to a close with the lone piper playing from the castle ramparts.

Tattoo Fireworks

This sometimes catches people unaware. The nightly Tattoo fireworks can be heard around Edinburgh during August, especially the weekend fireworks. If you are staying in central Edinburgh, you'll known them when you hear them.

The Tattoo show incorporates a short fireworks display, usually near the end of the show (weather permitting).

An "enhanced"  fireworks display takes place at the performances on Friday starting at around 9pm (9.30pm on Friday 26 August) and Saturday 9.30pm. The Fireworks are later in those shows which typically have a 100-minute duration.

Flyovers

There are also flyovers on the dates below (times are approximate):

    6 August 2022: 6:15pm
    12 August 2022: 9:00pm
    16 August 2022: 9:00pm
    18 August 2022: 9:00pm
    26 August 2022: 9:30pm

Edinburgh Tattoo times (5-27 August, 2022)

  • Monday - Friday: 9pm (except 26th August, which has perfs at 6.15pm & 9.30pm)
  • Saturday early show: 6.15pm
  • Saturday evening show: 9.30pm
  • Sunday: no performance

Edinburgh Tattoo Ticket Prices and Best Seats

Prices for seats alone at the Tattoo 2022 range from £30 to £180 (prices depend on seat location, day of the week). There are also more expensive hospitality packages (costing £hundreds) available.

The bulk of the seating, on either side of the main body of the arena, give a good view of the performances on the esplanade, and are £60 (£65 Fri/Sat).

Seats that face Edinburgh Castle, giving you that classic Tattoo backdrop, with the massed pipes and bands marching with the castle behind them, cost more.

The most expensive seats are in the Royal Gallery itself, the covered box on the east side of the arena. These prime seats, directly opposite the castle, are elevated above the performance, without being too far away. They range from £580 to £640. Many of these seats are part and parcel of Tattoo hospitality packages, including 3-course dining, post-performance reception, for corporate clients and special guests.

Not only is the castle the backdrop to the show from the East side, there’s a clear view the length of the performers marching in and out of the castle gate.

Due to the rectangular shape of the Esplanade stage, the troops of Tattoo participants will tend to direct themselves toward the Royal Gallery as they strut their stuff, particularly for ceremonial aspects of the show, such as the taking of the salute by the guest of honour in the Royal Gallery.

Premier seats below the Royal Gallery on the East Stand start at £160, while seats on the corners on the east side of the arena start at £85 depending on location and view.

The Edinburgh Tattoo introduced a £16 million pound new grand stand in 2011. The new stand has 8,700 seats, with a third more space per seat than the former grand stand, which had been in commission since 1972.

Ticket sales

Tattoo 2022 tickets went on sale online with Tattoo ticket partner SecuTix and by telephone on 1 December 2021. You can buy tickets online from the Edinburgh Tattoo Office.

N.B. In the past, there have been some half-price Tattoo tickets for the preview show on the Thursday 11 August (when the media are recording the performance), put on sale in July. The show is exactly the same as performed on other nights, with the exception that press photographers and television cameras are among some of the performers recording the show.

Dressing for the Edinburgh Military Tattoo 

Remember this is Scotland and cool weather and/or rainstorms are not uncommon even in the middle of summer so check the weather forecast in advance and dress accordingly. The outdoor arena on the castle esplanade is exposed to the elements.

Covid-19 and the Edinburgh Tattoo

The year 2020 would have been the 70th Anniversary of the Tattoo. The show was dubbed "The Platinum Edition", and would celebrate the Tattoo's "enduring ability to link the Armed Forces with society and bring people together to celebrate the cultures and heritage of allies and friends".

It was due to 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, was lined up to be the lead for 2020.

Of course, due to Covid-19, it was cancelled.

A year later, the conditions were still not ripe for such a large capacity event, even though restrictions had eased significantly.

The Tattoo announced: “Despite the sense of optimism around the UK’s emergence from the Pandemic and our huge enthusiasm to stage a performance this year, it is now clear that the financial risks we confront in delivering The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, at scale, on the Castle Esplanade in August are simply too great."