Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo set for overseas tour

Organisers of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo are preparing to take the event on tour every two years to help raise its global profile and bring new international acts back to Edinburgh.

Performers wow the audience at this years Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The events profile is to be raised by overseas trips. Picture: TSPL

The world-famous event is being lined up for extensive visits to both the Persian Gulf and China for the first time within the next five years.

The overseas trips, currently pencilled in for 2018 and 2020 respectively, will follow on from forthcoming visits to both New Zealand and Australia.

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The Tattoo’s chief executive and Edinburgh’s Lord Provost have already held preliminary talks with senior overseas government officials over the proposed overseas visits.

Donald Wilson: It is a sign the Tattoo is in great health. Picture: TSPL

It is hoped they will help will help raise awareness of the Tattoo in some of Scotland’s key foreign markets as well as boost cultural, heritage and trade links between Edinburgh and the cities where the event is staged.

More than 14 million people have attended the Tattoo since it was first held at Edinburgh Castle esplanade and all 217,000 tickets for the event have been sold out for the last 17 years in a row.

Brigadier David Allfrey, who has been at the helm of the Tattoo for the past five years, has vowed to “stretch and grow” the event during his tenure at the helm of an event he says is already worth £120 million to the Scottish economy.

The Tattoo will be returning to Australia for a third time in February for a five-night run at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium, before it transfers to the Westpac Stadium, in Wellington for a four-night run, which will be part of the annual New Zealand Festival.

Brig Allfrey said: “This is the first of a string of what I hope will be three overseas tours.

“We are still at a very early stage of planning to take the Tattoo to the Gulf, which would clearly be a very complex project.

“Then it is our firm wish to go to China. All of that is now stretching ahead of us.

“We’ve got a whole range of options we’re looking at in the Gulf, but the aim would be to do a tour of four or five stops, although it would probably be just the one venue in China.

“These things take some years to put together. We’ve got a whole range of options we’re looking at in the Gulf, but the aim would be to do a tour of four or five stops, although it would probably be just the one venue in China.”

Donald Wilson, Edinburgh’s Lord Provost, said: “It is a sign of the great health and development of the Tattoo that it is now able to consider touring abroad in this way.”