PIPERS preparing for a rare overseas performance of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo have taken a break from rehearsals on an Australian beach.
About 1,200 pipers, drummers, dancers and musicians will take part in the three-night run of the show in Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium from Friday.
The Tattoo is traditionally staged on the floodlit esplanade of Edinburgh Castle and organisers have decided they will keep the backdrop by building a replica of the world-famous landmark for the Australian shows.
The Tattoo has only travelled abroad three times in 65 years and the last 16 seasons in Edinburgh have sold out with about 220,000 visitors attending the multi-national extravaganza.
Adam Casey and Peter Crowe of the Royal Dragoon Guards took a break from practice and joined other military pipers at Brighton beach in Melbourne on Tuesday
Charles MacLean, from the Royal Highland Fusiliers, Hugh Mackay of The Highlanders, Euan Jardine from Royal Scots Borderers and Alan Sharp from the RAF Pipes & Drums also enjoyed a break on the beach.
When the show was announced, Brigadier David Allfrey, chief executive and producer of The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, said: “In over six and a half decades, our unique event has been presented abroad on only three occasions.
“So, we are delighted to be returning this time to Melbourne with a brand new show with the best bands and performers from around the world.
“To play in Melbourne is an extraordinary privilege and we are delighted to be an exciting new addition to the 2016 calendar. This will be an event Melbourne will remember for a lifetime.”