Military Tattoo: The Sky’s The Limit
The Royal Military Tattoo will this year celebrate the centenary of the Royal Air Force and, for the first time, introduce laser technology to the showpiece event.
More than 1,200 cast and crew will take part in nightly performances on the Castle Esplanade taking the audience on a journey following man’s obsession with flight, including space travel.
Brigadier David Allfrey, introducing the Sky’s the Limit programme at a media briefing, said it was hoped to have a live link to a space capsule orbiting the earth.
The show will also mark the year of young people and first-time performers include the Edinburgh Girls’ High School from Malawi who will join girls from Mary Erskine School choir. The Malawi school is so named because of its links with Mary Erskine.
Brig Allfrey said this year’s programme was an “enthralling 90-minute spectacle that’s set to be one of our best shows yet, with an army of young people to the fore.”
Air Chief Marshall Sir Stephen Hillier, chief of the air staff, added: “In our 100th anniversary year I’m really delighted that the Royal Air Force has the lead for this year’s Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
“The greatest legacy we can build is to inspire and unlock the potential of new generations, so that together, we can help shape our next century.
“The theme for this year’s Tattoo – The Sky’s the Limit – could not, therefore be more appropriate.”
Among this year’s colourful array of performers are the Banda Monumental de Mexico, who will bring a carnival atmosphere through Mariachi music and dance. Returnees include the Highland Dancers of Scotland.
The Tattoo, which runs from 3-25 August, is on course for a 20th consecutive sell-out, performing to a live audience of 220,000 and a global TV audience in excess of 100 million.
It generates £77 million annually to the Scottish economy and has donated about £10m to services and the arts since 1950. Around 70% of visitors who attend the Tattoo say it is their sole reason for coming to Scotland.
The company this year revealed plans to expand its international programme and double turnover to £20m.
The Tattoo’s optimism coincides with anecdotal evidence that visitor numbers to the Edinburgh Festivals may break new records this year. A number of Fringe offices are reporting higher sales than last year.