Highland Military Tattoo 8-10 September 2017, Fort George, near Inverness.
This event is a unique and truly authentic experience. Set inside the magnificent ramparts of Fort George, this spectacular military ceremony always impresses and enthrals its audiences. From the roar of jets to the magical sound of the massed pipes and drums, from Highland dancing to fiercely contested competitions, from contemporary music to historical re-enactments, and climaxing in the Lone Piper ceremony and the terrific fireworks display, spectators always enjoy this fantastic show.
The experience starts with a walk across the drawbridge into the Fort and the opportunity to sample high quality affordable food and drink in the Catering and Retail Village next door to the Tattoo arena. Wander around the largely in-house retail stalls and Armed Forces charity tents, visit the military vehicle and equipment displays – including a World War 1 Sopwith Camel – and talk to the servicemen and women. Take a stroll up onto the ramparts and admire Fort George’s classical buildings and examine its large cannons and mortars which defended it and the sea route to Inverness. There’s a good chance you might see dolphins in the Moray Firth too!
Then take your seat in the stands wrapped around the arena with the Fort’s frontage as the iconic backdrop to the Tattoo.
This year the main themes are focussed on the RAF: its beginnings as the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) in the First World War, the formation of the RAF Regiment in the Second World War and the RAF today. We will also be celebrating Visit Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology – and what better place to do that than Fort George with its history of soldiers from after Culloden up to the present day and the impressive buildings of this mighty fortress. It is also the year of the Gaelic Welcome and there will be Gaelic songs and the opportunity to learn a few Gaelic phrases.
The Programme lasts about 1 ¾ hours. The outline follows:
Aerial display by World War 1 SE5A biplane
Fly pasts by RAF Typhoon jets
Fanfare by The Royal Regiment of Scotland Military Band.
The Massed Pipes and Drums from some 9 military and local bands – both adult and youth: 4 Bands from the Royal Regiment of Scotland, I R IRISH, RAF Lossiemouth, 2622 Sqn RAuxAF, Forres, The Highlanders’ Army Cadet Force, Inverness City Youth and Gordonstoun School.
The Royal Regiment of Scotland Military Band display.
Historical vignettes: firstly, tracing the history of Fort George from Culloden through the soldiers based and trained there from the 1750s to the formation of the Seaforth Highlanders in 1881. And secondly, remembering the RFC in the First World War, the formation of the RAF Regiment in the Second World War in North Africa and the RAF Regiment on operations more recently in Afghanistan.
Armed Forces’ Competition with teams from the Royal Engineers, The Black Watch 3 SCOTS and the RAF Regiment battling it out for the Urquhart Cup.
Highland Dance sets – both traditional from the City of Inverness Dancers and contemporary from the City of Inverness Choreography Dancers accompanied by a dance band and pipers.
The Ceol Na Clarsach Group playing wonderful clarsach and fiddle music accompanied by Gaelic singing.
The Queen’s Colour Squadron of the RAF Regiment give an internationally renowned marching and drill display.
Closing Sequence with all the cast led on by the Massed Bands, RAF Guard of Honour, the Evening Hymn, Auld Lang Syne and the National Anthem.
The spectacular fireworks display is followed by the Evening Hymn – this year The Airman’s Hymn – and the Lone Piper.
The cast then march off to the rousing sound of Scotland the Brave and The Black Bear.
The Catering and Retail Village is open 2 ½ hours before each show begins and remains open afterwards which helps a smooth exit from the carparks situated just outside the Fort.
This Tattoo is in its fourth year at Fort George. It delivers ‘what it says on the tin’. It’s a fantastic show for all the family with three evening performances and a matinee on the Saturday.