'Last minute' sell out for Edinburgh Military Tattoo

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Fireworks explode at the Royal Military Tattoo at Edinburgh castle

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The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, which runs until this weekend, has sold out for the 14th consecutive year.

The event which often sells out months in advance has been affected by customers waiting until the last minute to spend their money, organisers said.

The 63rd Tattoo is celebrating 60 years of the Queen's reign with a Diamond Jubilee theme this year.

The event sees more than 1,000 pipers, drummers and other musicians perform on the Esplanade of Edinburgh Castle.

Military bands from countries around the world including Australia, Switzerland, Norway, Canada and the US have been performing during its three-week run, which ends on Saturday.

Organisers said the show is now completely sold out, after all 215,100 available tickets were snapped up, generating £8.4m at the box office.

It is the first solo production for the event's new chief executive and producer, Brigadier David Allfrey.

He said: "It has been fascinating to watch the various factors that have been in play this year: a difficult economic climate, a shifting pattern of purchasing, relative pricing in holiday travel and accommodation, and as ever, our position and timing in a competitive marketplace.

"We have certainly worked harder this year than in recent times and against a background of pessimism in some quarters."

Alan Smith, Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo's marketing manager, said: "We believe that buying patterns have changed so spectators are buying tickets a lot nearer to the activity.

"We don't believe this year's slower sell out is related to the Olympic Games because we have an entirely different group of spectators."

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