Military Tattoos are always grand specatacles of bands playing in exquisite formation, pipes, brass and other instruments resounding, the whole immaculately choreographed with precision, the performers, band members and dancers turned out in fine uniforms, a feat of creatives coming together to produce an immense evening of elaborately arranged entertainment.
The Belfast International Tattoo is now very much established in the social diary not only here in Northern Ireland but also in Europe and further afield, attracting tourists and bands from Australia, Canada, Holland, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.
The 2019 show is focused around younger acts and will feature performances by the National Youth Pipe Band from Scotland, under the stewardship of pipe major Allistair McLarnon; the National Youth Pipe Band of Australia, playing for the first time outside of their home country; the Ulster Scots Agency Youth Pipe Band, under the leadership of pipe major Andy McGregor; Campbell College, Belfast, Pipe Band; and the Belfast International Tattoo Pipe Band, lead by pipe major Alan Barr.
To further enhance the youth contribution to the Massed Youth Pipe Band, they will be lead into the Arena by senior drum major Emma Barr, who is the youngest drum major ever to win the World Drum Major Championship, having taken the title in Glasgow at the World Finals in August 2018.
A panoply of bands from all over the world will make this year’s show truly spectacular, with a wealth of diverse talent flying in to perform at the large-scale event including Adest Music from the Netherlands, Her Majesty’s Band of the Royal Marines from Scotland, Canada’s Stag & Thistle Highland Dancers, the National Youth Pipe Band of Australia, The National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland, and the Juliana Bicycle Group, also from the Netherlands. Local acts are strongly represented too including the Ballywalter Flute and Churchill Flute, Maghery Fife & Drum from Donegal, the Belfast International Tattoo Massed Pipes & Drums, Campbell College Pipe Band and finally, the Ulster-Scots Agency Juvenile Pipe Band.
The show this year is being produced by Brian Wilson MBE, who took over production and direction in December 2018 after six years as assistant producer.
“We describe the Tattoo as a musical extravaganza and this year we have numerable outstanding acts including the Band of the Royal Marines, a big draw for us a who have performed all over the world; it will be a real honour to have them here.
“Pipe bands are the backbone of Tattoos all over the world, so naturally they will be in attendance, but we have lots of other bands, local flute bands from Londonderry and Ballywalter to play local traditional and marching tunes included. Another highlight will surely be the unicycle group Juliana who form pyramids and do all kinds of spectacular things with bicycles. They are just so exciting and are going to really steal the show.”
Tickets from Ticketmaster now.