MODERN spectator stands for Edinburgh Castle esplanade have helped the Tattoo smash the £10 million income barrier for the first time.
New facilities at the £16 million stands, which replaced ageing structures first used in the 1972 Olympics, have seen the amount generated by the event soar by almost 45 per cent in the space of five years.
The new ampitheatre has allowed the Tattoo - which has completely sold out for the last 16 years - to dramatically boost its corporate hospitality operation.
Bosses have revealed that intimate spaces around Edinburgh Castle - which is closed to the public in the evening - are also being increasingly deployed to accommodate demand for pre-Tattoo entertaining.
The extra income from hospitality and VIP entertaining is expected to have dramatically boosted the previous estimate, of around £88 million, that the Tattoo is thought to generate for the economy. Just £146,000 was generated via by the Tattoo via corporate hospitality in 2009, compared to £1.13 million this August.
Brigadier David Allfrey, the Tattoo’s chief executive: “We are a genuine business here and my job is to grow that business. We have really diversified in the last few years. Rather than just put on the show as we have always done, we are now doing lots of other things as well, and we work very hard on our hospitality offering.
“With demand for tickets was so high this year, with nothing at all available by4 August, we saw an enormous jump in the sale of hospitality packages to people who just wanted to see the show. But we feel it’s also very important to keep our ticket prices as low as possible.”
More than 13 million people are believed to have attended the Tattoo since it was instigated in 1950. Around 217,000 people flood into the spectator stands to see the show each August, with the global television audience thought to be more than 100 million.