Musicians and dancers wow crowds at Walled City Tattoo

The massed bands of the Walled City Tattoo take centre stage at Ebrington Square in Derry-Londonderry last night
The massed bands of the Walled City Tattoo take centre stage at Ebrington Square in Derry-Londonderry last night

Thousands of people braved blustery weather last night to take in the variety entertainment extravaganza of the Walled City Tattoo in Londonderry.

Over 300 international performers from Germany, Malta, France and Switzerland took part alongside local highland and Irish dancers and bands.

While the world-famous Edinburgh tattoo is a traditional military theme, the Londonderry version this year celebrated the transport history in the north west of the Province.

In only its second year, the tattoo was one of the most successful aspects of the city’s 12 months as UK City of Culture and has thus become an annual fixture in its cultural landscape, at Ebrington Square.

Peter Hutcheon, editor of the Londonderry Sentinel, was one of those taking in the event last night.

“There are about 2,000 people here to take in the show,” he said.

“It is a bit of a blustery night but people are really enjoying it and are just now getting into the Dambusters theme tune.

“Obviously a lot of thought has gone into making it very different from last year and drawing much local talent into the whole experience.

“Undoubtedly the motorbike display team is the star turn of the night.”

The 550-strong cast of musicians, dancers, actors and acrobats entertained the crowds on the first of the four nights.

The opening scene of this year told the story of the old ship building yards on the River Foyle, backed by a 30 strong drums corps from marching, rock and samba bands, using - not drums - but oil barrels, corrugated iron sheets, steel tubing, hammers and grinders.

The Walled City Dance troupe returned with over 200 dancers from the Highland, Irish and contemporary dance worlds.

And two of the city’s oldest bands Britannia Concert Band and Hamilton Flute Band performed together for the first time.

The Switzerland Starbugs brought their unique slapstick comedy acrobatics to the show while world-renowned motorcycle display team ‘The Imps’ from London drew widespread admiration.

Tickets for tonight, tomorrow and Saturday can be booked on 028 7126 4455 or