Edinburgh Tattoo cancelled over financial risks

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Edinburgh tattooImage source, Getty Images

This year's Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo has has been cancelled after organisers said the financial risks of staging the event were "too great".

The Tattoo was scheduled to take place on the castle esplanade in August.

But chief executive Buster Howes said it would be "irresponsible" to go ahead without being able to underwrite the "substantial" losses which would be caused by any last-minute cancellation.

He said these could risk the charity's longer-term financial viability.

The event is run by a charity which has donated more than £12.3m to services and arts organisations since it was founded in 1950.

The Tattoo usually attracts a live audience of 220,000 people each year, alongside a large global television audience.

Last year's event was also cancelled due to the Covid pandemic.

Image source, Getty Images

Mr Howes said the organisers had spent a "tremendous amount of energy and effort" in planning this year's tattoo.

But he said: "It is now clear that the financial risks we confront in delivering the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, at scale, on the castle esplanade in August are simply too great.

"We have for months forensically monitored, assessed and sought to mitigate the constraints and uncertainties involved in mounting our show.

"However, we now reluctantly conclude it would be irresponsible to press on, and to risk the longer-term financial viability of our charity, without the ability to underwrite and to offset the potential, substantial economic losses associated with last-minute cancellation obliged by changes in public health policy."

He said it had been a difficult decision, and that the "very disappointing outcome" would have "far-reaching implications" for staff, performers, suppliers and guests.

"But we must act responsibly and in the best, long-term interests of all," he said.

Tickets will be refunded or transferred to next year, with the Tattoo scheduled to take place from 5 to 27 August 2022.

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