City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2018

By edg - Posted on 07 January 2017

Tattoo 2011: Scotland the Brave
Event details
Friday, August 3, 2018 - 9:00pm - Saturday, August 25, 2018 - 10:30pm
Telephone (info): 
0131 225 4783
Telephone (box office): 
0131 225 1188

For scale, no show in Edinburgh can rival the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Literally hundreds of performers, both from Scotland and bands and outfits from abroad, gather under the dramatic backdrop of Edinburgh Castle. The series of displays, which take place on the castle esplanade (an 18th century parade ground), combine breathtaking shows of military precision, often a battle re-enactment, military bands, traditional dancers, and a rousing finale of mass pipes and drums, topped by the lone piper playing from the castle battlements.

The "ultimate crowd-pleaser", as former Edinburgh Lord Provost George Grubb called the Tattoo, sells out each year long before its Summer performances, with armies of people coming to Edinburgh by bus and coach each night during the Festival.

The Edinburgh Tattoo introduced a £16 million pound new grand stand in 2011. The new stand has 8,700 seats, with a third more space per seat than the former grand stand, which had been in commission since 1972.

Tattoo Programme

The theme of the 2018 Tattoo is "The Sky's The Limit", Inspired by Scotland’s Year of Young People, and the 100th anniversary of the RAF who will be leading this year's show.

The Tattoo celebrates the history, heritage and colour of Scotland's global family. As well as a major home contingent, the Tattoo draws on military bands and performers from across Europe, the Far East, Central and South America. An essential component on the night is the rousing gathering of the Massed Pipes and Drums, among them The Royal Regiment of Scotland, and the Bands of Her Majesty's Royal Marines. The show's big bangs and fireworks display thunder across the Edinburgh night, particularly on Saturdays when the Tattoo holds an extended fireworks display.

The Tattoo draws to a close with the traditional lone piper playing from the castle ramparts.

Edinburgh Tattoo times

Monday - Friday: 9pm to 10.30pm
Saturday early show: 7.30pm to 9.00pm
Saturday evening show: 10.30pm to Midnight
Sunday: no performance

Edinburgh Tattoo 2018 tickets (website)

Ticket prices

£25 - £80 (prices depend on seat location). There are also more expensive packages (up to £340) available.

Ticket sales dates

On sale online and telephone from 10am, 1st December. From Tattoo Office on Monday 4th December, 10am.

N.B. Some half-price Tattoo tickets for the preview show on Thursday 2nd August (when the media are recording the performance) on sale at 10am on Monday 23rd July (TBC). The show is exactly the same as performed on other nights, with the exception that press photographers and television cameras are among some of the performers.

* £5 booking fee per transaction. Prices include VAT.