What is a Tattoo?


November isn’t just a time for remembrance, but also a time for celebration as Britain’s biggest indoor tattoo returns to the Barclaycard Arena...but, what is a Tattoo and what are the origins of this special military display?

The 2017 Birmingham International Tattoo arrives here at the Barclaycard Arena on the 25th & 26th November and we can almost hear the sound of drums, marching bangs and horns in the distance!

Birmingham Tattoo 

But what is a Tattoo and what are the origins of this sort of military display?

Historically, ‘Tattoo’ is the traditional signal, given originally by drum beat, and latterly by bugle or trumpet call, which warned British soldiers to return to their quarters for the night. The innkeepers turned off the liquor taps and the drums continued to beat for half an hour, during which time the soldiers were allowed to make their way home. The custom developed into a ceremonial performance of military music by massed bands a few hours after sunset.

So it's not just that ink that people have permanently scribed on to their bodies.

With over 1,000 performers taking part in a spectacular three-hour event, this year’s Birmingham International Tattoo is Britain’s largest indoor Tattoo and carries on the traditional pomp and pageantry that has developed over centuries but with a few modern touches in the comfort of Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena. Come and join us on Saturday 25th November for a fantastic Saturday night out or on Sunday 26th November for the afternoon performance.