Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, August 5 to 27
THERE are events that bring marketing managers out in a sweat as they wonder how to spread the word.
Events that merely have a local appeal and events where booking agents fear they’ll never get rid of tickets.
Then there’s the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
Like the International Festival and the Fringe, it puts Scotland’s capital city on the world map every summer.
Its reputation is such that visitors from every part of the globe make it THE reason to head to the UK each year.
And 2016 will be no different.
A third of the 220,000 spectators who take their seats against the spectacular backdrop of the castle come from overseas.
There is also just the little matter of the 100 million people who catch proceedings annually on TV.
As soon as tickets went on sale on December 1, booking lines and websites went into their now-normal meltdown.
This year’s event takes place between August 5 and 27. During that time there are performances each Monday to Friday at 9pm.
On Saturday there’s a double dose of spectacle at 7.30pm and 10.30pm.There is no performance on a Sunday.
Ticket prices are from £25 to £70.
For any event with ‘Royal’ in the title, the monarchy is obviously hugely important.
And this year’s Tattoo is set to pay its own tribute to the Queen’s 90th birthday. It will do so with a celebration called Tunes Of Glory.
The aural and visual spectacle of the Massed Pipes and Drums will be a production to take the breath away.
Among those taking part will be the New Zealand Army Band and Lochiel Marching Drill Team. They’ll be in the company of His Majesty The King’s Guard from Norway, the Imps Motorcycle
Display Team and the Royal Jordanian Armed Forces Band and Drill Team.
Since it started in 1950 performers from 48 countries have taken part in the Tattoo.
And those early days couldn’t have been more different.
There were a mere eight items on that opening programme when the country was just a few years from the end of the Second World War.
There were around 6000 spectators who sat on simple bench and scaffold structures around the north, south and east sides of the Castle esplanade.
Now they’re housed on the
£16 million spectator stands opened in 2011 and it’s on such a scale that the organisers hail it as The Greatest Show on Earth.
It’s a heck of boast but a couple of hundred thousand devotees each year will give no argument.
Oh, and those who decide it’s for them can be sure they’ll see what they paid for. Not a single performance of the Tattoo has ever been cancelled.
Glasgow International Comedy Festival, March 10-27
Europe’s biggest comedy festival will take place between March 10 and 27 at a variety of venues across the city.
It’s the Festival’s 14th year there will be over 370 events at a variety of venues featuring funnymen and women from the UK and beyond.
St Andrews Golf Week, April 10 – 16
The British Open will once again be played at the home of golf in 2016 and this week offers the chance to play rounds at five different courses.
That includes, naturally, the Old Course.
There is also a grand gala dinner and four days of tuition.
Spirit Of Speyside Whisky Festival, April 28 – May 2
Since it launched in 1999 the Festival has gone from strength to strength and this year whisky lovers will be spoiled with over 400 events.
As well as distillery tours, auctions and fairs there will be fine dining, live music and crafts.
Festival Of Museums, May 13 – 15
A three-day feast of events – day and night – staged at museums and galleries in just about every area of the country.
Among highlights this year is an exploration on tying the knot in Scotland and a chance to take part in some medieval mayhem.
World Porridge Making Championships, October 8
The country’s traditional breakfast has become a tourist attraction. The annual event at Carrbridge attracts interest from all over the world.
There is live music, 3k and 5k runs, craft stalls, the Toast to the Porridge and the all-important judging, of course.
Sunderland International Airshow, July 22 – 24
There will be action packed adventure at Roker and Seaburn seafront for three days from the Friday.
The Red Arrows will be drawing gasps from the crowd as always, there are plenty of attractions on the ground, too, and the family-friendly event is free.
Scottish Motorcycle Show, March 12 – 13
Bike fans will be revving up for the show at the Royal Highland Centre Ingliston over Saturday and Sunday.
As well as getting a close-up look at some of the latest models there is also a collection of classic motorcycles from over the past 80 years and rip-roaring live displays.
150th Anniversary Of Beatrix Potter’s Birth, Throughout 2016
The Lake District will be marking the anniversary with a series of events.
Potter fans will find the milestone celebrated at her famous Hill Top Farm, beautifully kept just as she left it by the National Trust, and the World of Beatrix Potter at Bowness-on-Windermere.
Edinburgh International Science Festival, March 26 – April 10
Who says science is dull? Obviously no one who has been to the popular festival, which starts late March.
Much of it is aimed at kids and families. The full programme of events will be unveiled at the start of February but a key theme will be Building Better Worlds.