THE Tattoo is set to smash all records by
selling out six months before its first
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
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
"You can fly up from London now for
about £20, and from Europe for not a lot
"We've seen a lot more people in
recent years coming from Europe to see our
fantastic performers and top-flight
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
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
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
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
"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
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."