Edinburgh Castle Esplanade

Runs until August 24th (Various Times, Not Sunday)

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5 stars)

2019 Marks the 69th Annual Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, performed in the grandest location in the festival city namely Edinburgh Castle.

This is first and foremost a military operation and that echos through the entire evening, after nearly 7 decades can the tattoo stay relevant? The answer is yes blending tradition with modern technology along with the colour and pageantry the Tattoo is renown for ensures that Kaleidoscope sets the course for a bright future for the Tattoo.

Opening with a stunning “Fanfare” followed by the cannons firing from the half moon battery, the gates of the drawbridge open and the world-famous sight and sound of the massed pipes and drums get the production of to a magnificent start.

We then go around the world as acts from Germany, Heeresmusikkorps Kassel, The Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force Steel Band, Musique de Artllerie from France, The Lochiel Marching Drill Team from Canada and The New Zealand Army band among others bring their colour and talents to the capital in spectacular style.

The true spectacle is when all 1200 performers join together for the finale of the production which takes on an emotional tone as tribute is paid to all those who have given their lives in the service of there country. Goosebumps run up the arms as the flags are lowered on the castle to the evening hymn, the lights fade to reveal the haunting sight of the lone piper standing high atop the castle ramparts.

Fireworks explode to the sound of Scotland the brave as the performers take there leave of the grand stage, leaving the massed pipes and drums to return to barracks to the sound of the Black Bear. It’s then the Tattoo returns to its roots as a lone drummer beats the “Tattoo” and the spectacle is over.

One thing is for sure, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo will always endure thanks to its passion, attention to detail and its ability to continue to embrace new technology and ideas truly the best blend of Scottish entertainment.

Brett Herriot

Twitter @BrettHerriot