Page last updated at 23:41 GMT, Thursday, 31 July 2008 00:41 UK

Sell-out Edinburgh Tattoo begins

tattoo - generic
Tickets for the Tattoo sold out in April

The Edinburgh Military Tattoo is beginning its sell-out three-week run.

More than 1,000 performers from America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the UK will perform at this year's 59th Tattoo.

The show, which will be seen by almost 9,000 per night, will also include its first performance by an Indian military band in 46 years.

Tickets for the Tattoo, which runs until 23 August on the esplanade at Edinburgh Castle, sold out in April.

A downturn in foreign visitors is being blamed for a number of tickets being returned to the box office but the organisers said these were being snapped up quickly.

The show programme will include long-established favourites such as the massed pipes and drums, massed bands and the Lone Piper.

Making their sixth appearance at the Tattoo is Melbourne's Rats of Tobruk from Australia, who will be there with the Singapore Police Gurkha Pipes and drums returning to Edinburgh after a 17-year absence.

One of the most televised university marching bands in the United States, the 100-strong Golden Eagles Marching Band from South East Missouri and the Massed Highland Dancers are also part of the programme.

The 90-minute production will also show the return of the all-girl Lochiel Champion Marching Drill Team from Wellington in New Zealand.

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