A taste of the Tattoo

Blog by Edinburgh's Lord Provost, Frank Ross.

As part of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo’s ‘Splash of Tartan’ celebrations, I invited Japan’s celebrated Ground Self-Defence Force Central Band to perform at the City Chambers.Lord Provost with Tattoo performers

The 38-member band is participating at the Tattoo (until 26 August) and I was delighted that they took a break from their busy schedule to entertain us with an amazing snippet from the full show. 

Their appearance at the Tattoo is rather remarkable, as the first Japanese Military band to play in the UK for 107 years! It is incredible that they have chosen Edinburgh, and the 70th anniversary of our Festivals, for their historic return.

Their performance included a perfect rendition of Auld Lang Syne which certainly hit the right note with the throngs of visitors passing by the Royal Mile. I also had the chance to speak with the musicians about their band, which has performed for the Emperor of Japan, the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games.

Tonight I will get to see them perform for the fourth time when I take my seat to enjoy the full Tattoo on the Castle Esplanade with the Consul General of Japan, Daisuke Matsunaga.

As the Vice Patron of the Festival, I have the great honour of hosting such guests and dignitaries from all over the world. Indeed, by the end of August, I think I’ll have attended six performances of this year’s Tattoo in total!

Performers from 48 countries are taking part this summer and the Festival is generating £77m every year for the Scottish economy and supporting many local and part-time jobs. It’s crucial we continue to sing the Tattoo’s praises and welcome the world to join us for what is a very special, very ‘Edinburgh’, tradition.




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