Tattoo begins diamond anniversary

Image caption,
The Imps motorbike display team are part of the Royal Edinburgh Tattoo line-up

Performers from all over the world will join members of the armed forces for the start of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo's 60th anniversary run later.

The Tattoo, which was given official royal status earlier this year to mark its Diamond Jubilee, will run for three weeks on Edinburgh Castle's esplanade.

Major General Euan Loudon, the event's producer, said it was one of the Tattoo's "most colourful productions".

One of the highlights will be the Massed Pipes and Drums.

It will feature 12 bands and about 1,000 performers.

The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards will top the bill in the pipes and drums line-up, after winning a Classical Brit award last year.

Other attractions include a display of daredevil motorcycling from the 38-strong Imps Motorcycle Display Team, all aged under 16, from London.

There is also the first-ever Polish military band to grace the event.

Major General Loudon said: "I am delighted to welcome the first Polish performers to appear at the Tattoo. Their dynamic display of music and movement will be something to behold."

In previous years all 217,000 tickets for the Tattoo's three-week run have been snapped up months in advance.

Last year, due to a drop in foreign tourists, the shows sold out just days before the opening performance.

A Tattoo spokesman said that there were a handful of seats left for this year's run.

He said: "We are on the cusp of selling out. Technically we have sold out because we have sold our existing stock, we just have re-sale tickets left.

"We have taken a little longer to conclude our sales this year but it's the sign of the times with the downturn in the market.

"However, it is still a rip-roaring success as I don't think there are many shows in our position a day before they start."

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