BBC to perform at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

The countdown is on until fifty of our best pipers and drummers head over to Scotland to perform live at Edinburgh Castle in the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. A formal invitation was extended to Brisbane Boys’ College in recognition of the successful performances by our Pipe Band on their 2014 Scotland tour, and their sixth placing at the European Pipe Band Championships.

The Tattoo will be held in Scotland from 3 to 25 August 2018, with the boys performing to just over 217,000 people over a 21-day period as part of the Massed Pipes and Drums.

The current band tartan of Ancient Hunting MacLean, incorporating the College colours of green, white and black, was introduced in 1976 and today the BBC Pipe Band remains a prominent icon of the College. New uniforms have been designed for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo tour and will feature the renowned BBC tartan.

The Tattoo is televised in 30 countries to 100 million people worldwide. In Britain the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) broadcasts the event annually, and in Australia the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) traditionally telecasts the Tattoo on the evening of New Year’s Eve.

Our College Pipe Band program has experienced significant growth with over 80 boys now learning or playing across three bands.

It is an honour and a privilege for members of the BBC Pipe Band to represent the College on the international stage and perform at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and World Pipe Band Championships.

2018 Contingent Details and Event Duration

Oh! The places you'll go! The BBC Pipe Band is a prominent and impressive icon of the College. At every significant moment in the life of BBC, our pipers and drummers are there, reminding us of the brilliant cultural heritage of our great school.

Brisbane Boys’ College Pipe Band will deploy a contingent of fifty people (two files of piper and drummers), which will include boys and several staff members. Academic staff members will accompany the tour to cover academic classes during school hours, in conjunction with Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo performance requirements.

The Tattoo will consist of 25 performances over a 21-day period, conducted in the evening (Monday to Saturday) and two performances conducted on Saturdays.

Rehearsals will begin on Monday 30 July, with the dress rehearsal on Thursday 2 August, 2018.

Shows will run from Friday 3 August to Saturday 25 August, 2018.


Uniforms and Rehearsal 

The formal uniforms for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo tour have arrived. These uniforms are exceptional and the boys are very proud to be wearing them. For the Tattoo performances, our boys will wear the black military doublet (jacket) and each member wears either a piper or drummer's plaid. The plaid is the sash that wraps around their torso and hangs down almost to the ground for the pipers and slightly shorter for the drummers.  

The Drum Majors step it up a notch in formality as they will be wearing the military feather bonnet, which has been worn by Scottish Highland regiments since the mid-1700s. Our Drum Majors will lead the band each night during the Tattoo performances.

The boys have been rehearsing exceptionally hard, with sessions running every Tuesday lunchtime and numerous Sunday practice sessions over the past few months. The Director of Army Bagpipe Music in Edinburgh has been sent our practice record for his evaluation and we have received very positive feedback on our playing standard so far. A further honour has also been bestowed upon BBC, as we have been selected as one of only two bands performing to play a special set of music during the Tattoo programme celebrating youth.


Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Since the 1970s, on average just over 217,000 people see the Tattoo live on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle each year. The event has sold out in advance for the last decade. 30 percent of the audience are from Scotland and 35 percent from the rest of the United Kingdom. The remaining 35 percent of the audience consists of 70,000 visitors from overseas, including Australia.

The Tattoo takes place every weekday evening and twice on Saturdays throughout August and has never been cancelled due to inclement weather. The second Saturday night performance includes a fireworks display, although each performance uses pyrotechnics, and since 2005 has incorporated a son et lumière element projected onto the façade of the Castle.

The Tattoo is run for charitable causes and over the years has given over £5 million to military and civilian charities and organisations, such as the Army Benevolent Fund. However, the greater benefit has been that, by independent count, it generates £88 million in revenue for Edinburgh’s economy annually.

New £16 million spectator stands and corporate hospitality boxes came into use in 2011, allowing the esplanade to host events at other times of the year.

In 2010 the event became the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo when HM Queen Elizabeth II awarded the Royal title in celebration of its 60 year anniversary.



Great Scot, What a Trip
Westside News
Wednesday 25 July