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RAF Leads Spectacular Tattoo

The unmistakable sight and sound of the Red Arrows trailing their red, white and blue smoke as they passed low over Edinburgh Castle was just one of the many spectacles at this year’s Royal Military Edinburgh Tattoo as the RAF took the lead.

RAF band playing outside Edinburgh castle at night

In its 73rd year and running from the 4th to 26th August, the show featured more than 800 performers and seated a daily audience of up to 8,000 visitors from around the globe.

Tourists taking a selfie with some RAF Band members

Performing on the iconic Esplanade of Edinburgh Castle, the international cast were joined by the RAF Pipes and Drums, the Central Band of the RAF and the King’s Colour Squadron.

King's Colour Squadron at Edinburgh Castle

AS1(T) Ross Clarke, an Avionics Technician at RAF Lossiemouth and a Piper with the RAF Pipes and Drums said,

It’s been a good opportunity to represent the Air Force at such a big event, it’s been a very rewarding experience and I'm glad I got the chance to be here.

On selected evenings the show began with flypasts from RAF aircraft including Typhoon, Atlas and the Red Arrows.

Red Arrows fly over Edinburgh with red white and blue smoke

Crucially, the whole event was underpinned by a support group of 50 RAF personnel drawn from stations across the UK. They worked tirelessly behind the scenes, alongside Royal Navy and Army colleagues, to ensure the event was secure and ran smoothly.

Police from RAF, Navy and Army in Edinburgh

Each night a VIP took the salute, including Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Knighton who said,

The Tattoo is a really important cultural festival, symbolic of Scotland, and I'm really proud of what the RAF have done this year while being the lead service.

With the lead service rotating annually, the RAF may have a smaller role to play next year, but the memories from this year’s event are sure to remain big for the audience and all those who took part.

Full arena outside Edinburgh Castle at night against backdrop of fireworks