Scotland

'Kaleidoscope': Drums And Dance Bring Colour To Start Of Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

The show features 1,100 performers and will entertain more than 200,000 spectators during August.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo kicked off on Thursday night with its first public performance at the Edinburgh Castle.

This year’s show is called 'Kaleidoscope', a celebration of light and symmetry to a soundtrack of military and folk music from around the world.

Around 1,100 artists from countries including Trinidad and Tobago, China, Canada, New Zealand and France will entertain more than 200,000 spectators over the course of this month. 

Musician Aiden Waite, from the Band of the Scots Guards, said: "It's nice when the band can come up here and represent the country that we do represent, and to do it for the British Army, as well, it's just amazing."

Music de l’Artillerie bring a French flair to the show, with Heeresmusikkorps Kassel representing Germany.

Crowd favourites such as the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force Steel Orchestra have returned.

The orchestra's Corporal Sheldon Peters noted: "I'm really elated doing this, representing our country, and portraying our festival which is carnival. That's why we bring all our lovely costumes, and our steel pan music and our Calypso rhythms to Scotland."

This year's Tattoo, 'Kaleidoscope', celebrates light and colour.

New Zealand’s Lochiel Marching Drill Team turned the castle esplanade into a winter wonderland, to the soundtrack of the Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

The Beijing Marching Wind Band impressed with their precision performance, before the New Zealand Army Band performed the famous Haka of their homeland.

It is one of the iconic sights of festival season, and one that will be enjoyed by thousands during the Tattoo’s run over the month of August.

Musician Alistair Gibson, from the Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, said 'the eyes of the world are on them': "We've got people from New Zealand, Germany, France, all over coming here and we're the big spectacle, and it's great to be part of that."

Heeresmusikkorps Kassel are representing Germany at the Tattoo.

The Tattoo's producer, Brigadier David Allfrey, is brimming with enthusiasm for what lies ahead.

"Military formations all have their own symmetry and that's what we're going to do - we're really going to stretch symmetries this year.

"You'll see some drill formations that you will never see, probably again, different every night."

More than 14 million people have attended the Tattoo since it began in 1950.