The Edinburgh Military Tattoo is the city’s main event during the festival each August, with attendances of over 200,000 each season, of whom 35 per cent come from overseas.
How does the team involved organise the event?
“There are 19 full-time members of staff,” says Alan Smith, the Tattoo marketing manager, “but during this period of the year there is an amalgam of staff and organisations that all come together to make this show possible. You’re probably talking as many people behind the scenes working away diligently on this show as there are performers appearing on the esplanade of an evening.”
“We have approximately 100 stewards that look after the 8,500 people that come to the show every evening,” says Alisdair Hutton, chief steward. “What we do is the week before the Tattoo starts, we have meetings and training sessions with the stewards to make sure they know the procedures to be followed. That leads up to the dress rehearsal on Thursday night, then we have the first night on Friday. Once you get past the first weekend, the three weeks are fairly calm.”
“Coming into the esplanade it’s a complete military event once you go beyond the cobbles,” says Keith Rutherford, press liaison officer. “So suddenly you’re under military jurisdiction at that point. If you go in the wrong place, we are talking about a military event, we are talking about a threat, so you can be misconstrued. So I’m here to make sure that doesn’t happen.