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Self Catering Edinburgh - Edinburgh Tattoo


Tattoo set for a record year as tickets fly out door


THE Tattoo is set to smash all records by selling out six months before its first performance.

Almost 4 million worth of tickets have been snapped up in less than two months, with short-break visitors from Europe grabbing a growing number of them.

Only a small number of tickets are now left for the August performances - many of them with restricted views - and the sell-out signs are expected to go up within a fortnight.

That puts the Tattoo on course to beat its previous record for its fastest sell-out - set last year, when it sold out by March 31 - by almost two months.

Tattoo spokesman Alan Smith said: "People do know to get in early from bitter experience. They now identify the Tattoo as a hot ticket.

"As soon as the box office opens in early December, applications for tickets flood in from every part of the globe.

"I think we've really built up momentum over the last few years and we've also been boosted by the number of low-cost airlines.

"You can fly up from London now for about 20, and from Europe for not a lot more.

"We've seen a lot more people in recent years coming from Europe to see our fantastic performers and top-flight musicians."

The Tattoo is preparing for its 57th year and has sold out in its last seven. The event will also be broadcast worldwide and is expected to attract more than 100 million television viewers.

The lion's share of the takings will go towards paying for what is expected to be the largest gathering of pipes and drums ever to grace the floodlit esplanade of Edinburgh Castle, with any surplus going to charity.

The regimental bands of The Scots Guards and the Coldstream Guards and the New Zealand Army Band will be among those performing in August.

Favourites including Switzerland's Top Secret Drum Corps and the Lone Piper will also return.

Mr Smith said: "There's a way to go yet, but we are down to just one or two midweek performances. There's no question it's set to be a record-breaker. It's very encouraging.

"It's quite an expensive production to mount. If we are fortunate enough to generate a surplus, that money will be distributed to nominated charities in the form of the Edinburgh Festivals Society and the Army Benevolent Fund."

Around 700,000 was given to good causes last year.

Tickets went on sale at the beginning of December, but the most expensive banks of seats facing the Castle have completely sold out for all 23 nights of the Tattoo. Seats in the centre of the North and South stands have all also gone.

The only remaining seats that won't leave spectators stuck in a corner are for the performances on August 22 and 23, and they are expected to go in days.

Brigadier Melville Jamieson, producer of the Tattoo, said: "My aim is to produce a great spectacle in front of the best background in the world.

"I want people to go away feeling they got their money's worth - many will only see the Tattoo once in their lifetimes.

Former Lord Provost Eric Milligan, who recently carried out a review of Scottish tourism for the Executive, said the Tattoo provides Edinburgh with an unrivalled economic boost, but that its extraordinary success means it can be difficult for city residents to get to see the show.

He said: "One problem it does raise, as a result of its success, is that local people find it harder to get tickets. Ideas about reserving some tickets for Edinburgh residents, or putting on another show, should be looked at."




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