Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo [August 2023]

The press release issued by the Ministry of Defence on 7 August 2023.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo has burst onto Edinburgh Castle’s famous esplanade this weekend, for another August full of music and spectacle.

The world-famous military show, which started on Friday, this year features the Royal Air Force as the lead military service, with two RAF bands, the King’s Colour Squadron and a large contingent of RAF personnel in support of the show – front and back of house, and a series of flypasts on eight nights of the show’s three-week run, which ends on 26 August.

As always, the spectacular backdrop of the ancient garrison of Edinburgh Castle allows the cast members to perform at their very best in front of the 8,800 audience members who will see the show live every evening this year.

The perennial favourites at the Tattoo, which is a complement to the military bands in the show, are the Massed Pipes and Drums, which this year is made up from The Pipes and Drums of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, the 1st Battalion The Irish Guards, The Royal Air Force Pipes and Drums and those of The Combined Scottish Universities’ officer Training Corps, along with some civilian Pipes and Drums from Australia.

The military bands of the Royal Marines (Scotland) will join the RAF bands this year.

As well as the UK contingents, there is a good showing of acts from around the world including the Band of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force, The Swiss Armed Forces Central band, His Majesty the King’s Guard Band and Drill Team from Norway and the United States Air Force Band.

The Tattoo also provides a backdrop for essential military engagement with other militaries and governments. This year will also see a wide range of NATO and other allied military guests who will have the honour of taking the salute from each of the acts, as they finish their performances. Guests this year include military personnel from Germany, Japan and the USA.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is the oldest and most famous military show in the world and has been an annual fixture at the ancient castle since 1950, when it was originally designed to be the Armed Forces in Scotland’s contribution to the Edinburgh International Festival. It has since become a “festival” in its own right, with a live audience of 230,000 and a global television audience of over 1 billion viewers in 40 countries, including China, the USA, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.