The South African National Defence Force proudly announces that it will be hosting the KZN Military Tattoo over the period 11 – 13 July 2012, at the Kingspark Cycle Track, in Durban.
The original meaning of military tattoo was a military drum performance, but subsequently it came to mean army (military) displays more generally.
It dates from around 1600 during the Thirty Years' War in the Low Countries (Belgium and the Netherlands). The Dutch fortresses were garrisoned with mercenary troops that were under federal command since 1594. The Dutch States Army had become a federal army, consisting mostly of Scottish, English, German and Swiss mercenaries, but commanded by a Dutch officer corps. Drummers from the garrison were sent out into the towns at 21:30 hrs (9:30PM) each evening to inform the soldiers that it was time to return to barracks. The process was known as doe den tap toe (Dutch for "turn off the tap"), an instruction to innkeepers to stop serving beer and send the soldiers home for the night. The drummers continued to play until the curfew at 22:00 hrs (10:00PM). Tattoo, earlier tap-too and taptoo, are alterations of the Dutch words tap toe which have the same meaning.
Military music has proven to be a perennial favourite and various events involving military parades have established themselves as tourist attractions globally. An extravaganza of all things military has been enjoyed by locals and visitors alike in various stadiums in and around Durban for many years. Based on the ongoing success of military tattoos worldwide and the popularity of the Durban Military Tattoo during the eighties, it was decided to revive the local tattoo in 2008. It is now known as the Kwa-Zulu Natal Military Tattoo and has been held annually since then.
By following in the footsteps of what was known as the Durban Military Tattoo, it continues to show case the best of military culture and music available in Kwa-Zulu Natal. The highly successful military tattoos in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 have re-established a proud tradition for future generations.
This year a unique opportunity has presented itself, the KZN Military Tattoo organizing committee has been fortunate to secure the Royal Hospital School Band to perform on Thursday the 12th of July 2012.
The Royal Hospital School Band is a very important part of the School’s Naval tradition and is directed by former Royal Marines Corps Bandmaster Mr Roger Jones. It regularly undertakes marching and concert engagements. Recently the band performed in front of HM the Queen when she recently opened the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich 75th Exhibition. Since 1996 the band has undertaken bi-annual summer tours to The Netherlands, France, South Africa, Canada, Malta, Sri Lanka, USA East Coast, USA West Coast and once again it is delighted to be returning to South Africa.
In addition the band from the Royal Hospital School, various South African Military bands will be performing two shows a night on the 11th, 12th and 13th of July 2012.
In keeping with the tradition of military tattoos worldwide, various pipe bands will provide the ageless call of the pipes. To add to the excitement skydivers will be falling from the skies with flags flying, the equestrian display will provide charging horses.
The event promises to be an awe-inspiring, adrenalin-inducing sound and vision spectacular.
Tickets are available from CompuTicket, show start punctually at 17h00 and 20h00 each night.