Page last updated at 11:58 GMT, Tuesday, 5 August 2008 12:58 UK

Edinburgh Tattoo takes on Glasgow

The Edinburgh Military Tattoo
The Edinburgh Military Tattoo is reaching out to a west coast audience

About 800 performers from the Edinburgh Military Tattoo have taken to the streets of Glasgow to boost the event's profile in the west of Scotland.

The massed pipes and drums led a parade of international bands to George Square for a free performance.

Organisers estimate 80% of the people who watch the Tattoo come from outside Scotland, many from overseas.

As well as raising their profile, organisers are currently trying to raise 15m for a new grandstand.

The current stand on the castle's esplanade, which holds 8,600 spectators, has been used since 1975.

Most famous

It was based on a system used for the Munich Olympic Stadium and was seen at the time as an ambitious solution to the growing demand for tickets for the event.

The stand is now considered cramped and uncomfortable.

It also takes six months to erect and dismantle and organisers of the sell-out show believe a replacement is long overdue.

The Tattoo, which is set up and run for charitable purposes, features thousands of performers from 40 countries.

It has been one of the city's most famous sights for almost 60 years.


The Edinburgh Tattoo entertains Glasgow

Over the years, the Tattoo has gifted about 5m to service and civilian organisations. However, this means it could struggle to raise the money needed for the new stand.

According to the show's producer Major General Euan Louden, they are already at a key stage in talks with private and public funders.

He said: "I am hugely confident that we are going to get the funding for the stand.

"We could go on with things the way they are but to be honest the infrastructure is now over 30 years old, it takes six months to build the stand and take it down.

"That I think is inappropriate and unacceptable in the 21st Century, sitting as we do right at the heart of our capital city en fete in August."

Pipes and drums

Major General Louden said he was confident that he would be able to announce details of the new stand by the autumn, with plans for it to be in place by 2011.

One of the biggest draws at the Tattoo is the massed pipes and drums - a regular date for many Scots servicemen and women.

Drum Major Matt Smith, of the second battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, said: "I've done loads of Tattoos, from being a drummer at the back, I am now at the front as drum major.

"It does not matter how many times you do the Tattoo, every time you go through the drawbridge the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

"It's really special to do it."

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