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Tuesday, 24 July, 2001, 12:55 GMT 13:55 UK
Tattoo to make its mark
Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Organisers promise one of the best performances ever
Organisers have promised this year's Edinburgh Military Tattoo will be "one of the most unusual performances in the event's 50-year history".

Tattoo chief executive, Brigadier Melville Jameson, said the show on Edinburgh Castle's Esplanade, would include a dancing troupe from the Cook Islands in the South Pacific.

He said the Russian cossack state song and dance ensemble would give its first ever UK performance at the event which runs from 3-25 August.

BBC Scotland will be screening the show, which was watched by over 100m people across the world last year, and includes a joint performance by bands from Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

The tattoo is the army's contribution to Edinburgh's International Festival and has been an annual feature since 1950.


They say it's worth about 60 million to the Scottish economy and about half of that is brought to the city itself

Eric Milligan, Edinburgh Lord Provost

Speaking at the launch of this year's event in Edinburgh Castle, Brigadier Jameson said audiences would be "captivated" by the Cook Islanders.

He said the 52 dancers, who will be giving their first-ever performance outside their country, would give a "stirring display of traditional Polynesian dancing".

"Nowhere in the world can match the quality and precision as seen on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle."

The show, watched by over 100m people across the world last year, will also include a joint performance by bands from Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

Brigadier Jameson said: "There is plenty of variety there and yet quite a lot of military acts from home.

Economy boost

"I am happy to report that despite the foot-and-mouth epidemic and the much heralded down-turn in tourism, the tattoo appears to have bucked the trend.

"We have sold 191,000 tickets as of this morning, which is 88% sold. That might not seem that impressive but when I tell you that's 88% of 217,000 people, that's quite a lot of people already coming to the tattoo.

"And extraordinarily I can report that we are just short of 14,000 tickets ahead of this time last year so that fills the tattoo team with much pride."

The Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Eric Milligan, said the tattoo was "more popular today" than at any point in its history.

He said: "They say it's worth about 60 million to the Scottish economy and about half of that is brought to the city itself."

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