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Waratahs Beaten by Team Tattoo

Waratahs 23,872 V Team Tattoo 28,000 plus
On a rain soaked Friday evening more people attended the Sydney Football Stadium than the 2009 average attendance for the NSW Waratahs rugby union team.  What pulled in the crowd?  No, not another sporting team or a music gig for the twenty somethings. It was what might be considered a very niche attraction – a Military Tattoo!   The media generally consistently underestimates the demand for events both cultural and different.

There was a palpable swirl of expectancy in the air all evening, none more so than when the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines and the Royal Regiment from Scotland stirringly entered the stadium with the backcloth of the reproduced Edinburgh Castle which is the home of this amazing spectacle. Indeed, this was only the third occasion that this Tattoo has been held outside of its traditional home from the original performance in 1950.

MiSociety was pleasantly surprised by the diversity of the bands parading and playing at the event.  The internationally based bands included a US band playing the fyfe and drums in eighteenth century costume, the Military Band of the People’s Liberation Army of China, the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force Steel Orchestra and the New Zealand Army Band.   MiSociety’s favourites were one of the world’s most sensational drumming groups, Switzerland’s Top Secret Drum Corps and His Majesty The King’s Guard and Drill Team from Norway – sensationally tight and highlighted by a white strip down the side of their uniforms.

As we joined the crowds reluctantly leaving the venue MiSociety met a Sydneysider who had seen many performances of this tattoo and had the DVD collection covering over twenty years of the event.  What better critic then to ask his view on this performance – ‘up with the very best’ he replied in a thickish Scottish accent.  We can host these signature events in Sydney, let’s hope we attract more and more and gradually put aside our focus on sport, sport and more sport.

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