Pipe bands confirmed for three-night Tattoo in 2016
NEXT year's Belfast Tattoo at the SSE Arena is reverting to a three-night showpiece - and yesterday a number of the acts for 2016 were confirmed by the organisers.
Among the pipe bands, Thiepval Memorial from Co Donegal will return to reprise their appearance from this year, where they will be joined for the first time by New Ross & District from Wexford and also by McDonald Memorial from Dromore in Co Down.
And Piping Digest can confirm that negotiations are also being finalised with a top grade two band from Scotland (I'll have more about that when it's a done deal).
Two other military pipe bands from Irish army regiments are expected to join the line-up in a Tattoo which will pay unashamed homage to events of 1916 and the Battle of the Somme.
After experimenting last month with a Friday and then two-show Saturday format (which included a matinee), organisers revealed that next year's Tattoo will take place over a Thursday, Friday and Saturday night from September 1-3.
And Tattoo director Colin Wasson - who has already mapped out the show until 2019 - insists it will be even bigger that this year's event, which featured more than 600 performers from all over Ireland as well as from Canada, Italy and the Netherlands.
"We never rest on our laurels, and the show will include a number of local and international performers who've not featured in any of our three previous sell-out Tattoos," he said.
As well as the pipe bands already mentioned, confirmed performers include the band of the Royal Irish Regiment, Ballinran flute band, Dunlot and Vow accordion bands and the Tattoo's troupe of Irish and Scottish dancers.
It is also understood that plans are being discussed to televise the 2016 Tattoo, though contracts have yet to be finalised.