A Piper from the Royal Regiment of Scotland for Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Inauguration
Scotland

Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Called Off Over Coronavirus

Military bands from across the world perform at the event every year.

A Piper from the Royal Regiment of Scotland for Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Inauguration

All five Edinburgh festivals, including the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, have been called off due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Organisers said it is the first time during 70 years that the events will not going ahead. 

The festivals are held every August and are attended by more than four million people.

According to the organisers, they are the world's "second biggest cultural event" behind the Olympics. 

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said he was "hugely disappointed" by the cancellations but said it is "the right thing to do".

"We will all look forward to an amazing summer in 2021, when I have no doubt the festivals we all love so much will be back and better than ever,” he added.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, which was launched in 1950, sees military bands from across the world perform. 

The announcement means the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which hosts a number of military-themed productions, is also not going ahead.

Brigadier David Allfrey, Chief Executive of the Tattoo, said it would have been "impractical" and "undesirable" to hold the event amid the pandemic. 

"Accordingly, we have decided – for the first time in our 70-year history – to cancel our 25 shows set previously for the period 7–29 August 2020," Brigadier Allfrey said. 

The announcement follows a number of other events that have also been cancelled following the outbreak and Government measures on social distancing. 

Major sporting events including the Olympics and Euro 2020 have both been postponed, while the annual Army vs Navy rugby union fixtures at Twickenham have also been called off

Cover image: A piper during the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2018 (Picture: MOD).