Kaleidoscope of colours at Edinburgh Military Tattoo

More than 1,200 performers took part in what is being called the 'most extravagant yet'.

Bold colours and special effects marked the event.
Bold colours and special effects marked the event.

Bold colours and special effects mark this year’s Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, with producers describing the show as “perhaps the most extravagant yet”.

The theme of the annual sound and light spectacular is Kaleidoscope, celebrating the vibrant costumes and symmetrical formations of the 1,200 performers taking part.

Musicians and dancers have travelled from China, New Zealand and Trinidad and Tobago to showcase their skills on Edinburgh Castle Esplanade from August 2 to August 24.

Organisers have assigned a particular colour to each sequence, and overhead projections will light the floor of the esplanade under the feet of the performers for the first time.

Military tattoo: Draws a nightly crowd of more than 8,000.

A final rehearsal was held on Thursday evening ahead of the run, which draws a nightly crowd of more than 8,000 spectators.

Brigadier David Allfrey, chief executive and producer of the Tattoo, said ahead of opening night: “Audiences can expect to see colours coming together in an infinite variety of military formations, bands and folkloric performers – individually and together moving on the esplanade – creating a fabulous human mosaic.

“The huge tableau, with our great castle as an incomparable backdrop, will be framed by cutting edge lighting, projections, sound, special effects and fireworks.

“It is perhaps the Tattoo’s most colourful and extravagant show yet.”


More than 14 million people have attended the Tattoo since it began in 1950. It was set up and run for charitable purposes and, over the years, has gifted millions of pounds to service and civilian organisations.

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