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Getting tickets for the Tattoo

The phenomenal success of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo means that, if you're particular about the tickets you want, you may need to plan your campaign with appropriately military precision. Whereas, back in the 1990's, seats were often available on the day of the performance itself, these days some dates are sold out as early as January.

Booking opens in December and is immediately very busy, with Saturday performances particularly popular. The best seats for Saturdays are invariably snapped up quickly, and these performances usually sell out completely well before August arrives. You'll have a bit more flexibility if you can choose a midweek date, though you'll miss the impressive firework display which concludes the second Saturday showing.

In a break from the practice of other Festivals, the Tattoo opens online booking a couple of weeks before the phone lines are switched on. An alternative is to post your request into the box office; applications are handled in order of receipt, so the sooner you get your cheque in the post, the more likely you are to get your first choice of tickets.

Late tickets

Tattoo ticket packages
"A web search will turn up a range of options, from "budget packages" to four-star hotel deals"
If you didn't get in early enough to bag your tickets, you have a few remaining options. Firstly, an extra allocation of half-price tickets for the dress-rehearsal preview performance goes on sale just a week or so before the Tattoo opens; in 2013, they're available from 10am on Monday 22 July. There are over 8,000 tickets, but there are also a lot of people chasing them and you'll need to be on the case that morning to stand a real chance of getting any.

Secondly, the Tattoo suggests you could ask them for returns, by phoning the box office regularly in the run-up to the Festival. You can reach the box office on 08707 555 118: it's open weekdays from 10am to 4:30pm.

Your final option is to take advantage of the numerous tour operators offering Tattoo tickets as part of a hospitality package. A web search will turn up a range of options, from "budget packages" including just tickets and a coach tour, to all-inclusive four-star hotel deals. The trouble is, of course, that the extras are expensive, with even the cheapest deals marking up the ticket price by well over 100% - and the hotel-based options are poorly suited for the independent traveller. All the same - if you're desperate to see the show - working a package into your Edinburgh plans is the most reliable way to get your hands on a legitimate set of Tattoo passes.

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Edinburgh 2013

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