Edinburgh Tattoo cancelled due to COVID pandemic

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo has been cancelled for the second year in a row. 

Event organisers say the financial risks around delivering the event during a time of uncertainty, were too great. With public health policies subject to change and the possibility of a last-minute cancellation, event organisers concluded that it would be “irresponsible” to go ahead with the event. 

Chief Executive Buster Howes said: “Despite the sense of optimism around the UK’s emergence from the Pandemic and our huge enthusiasm to stage a performance this year, 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. 

“Consequently, it is with enormous regret and disappointment that we announce the cancellation of the 2021 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.” 

The Edinburgh Tattoo’s Twitter account has been put “on mute”.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo has been running since 1950, with 2020 marking the festivals Platinum Anniversary, celebrating 70 years. This year’s cancellation follows last year, when the festival was cancelled for the first time in its 7-decade history as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Tattoo’s mission is to deliver world-class public military events, rooted in Scottish tradition. The annual event attracts live audiences of up to 220,000 on the Esplanade of Edinburgh Castle, with a global TV audience of more than 100 million. 

Howes continued: “A tremendous amount of energy and effort goes into planning and delivering each Tattoo and this year was no exception. This is a very disappointing outcome. We will now refocus to find other ways to contribute to the national spirit of recovery this year and to surprise and delight the people of our City and from further afield. 

“We would like to thank all our ticket holders, friends and stakeholders for their patience over the past year as we have navigated the uncertainty of the Pandemic. Their continuing commitment and support has been much appreciated by everyone at the Tattoo and we look forward to welcoming them back to the Esplanade in the future.” 

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is set to return to Edinburgh Castle Esplanade from 5th – 27th August 2022. Customers who have purchased tickets will receive a full refund or have the choice to transfer tickets to 2022. 

Written by Rowan Brolly

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