The centuries-old tradition of Tattoo originates as a signal from drummers instructing Dutch innkeepers near military garrisons to “Doe den Tap-toe” or “turn off the tap”. Hearing the call “Tap-toe” soldiers would return to their barracks for an evening roll call. The ensuing parade of soldiers evolved into a military marching band performance now known worldwide as “Tattoo”.
The Virginia International Tattoo is located in the coastal Virginia city of Norfolk, which is home to the world’s largest Navy base, NATO’s only North American headquarters, and the largest population of active duty and retired military in the United States. With our “home port” in these waters it is no surprise that our Tattoo is widely known as the most patriotic in the world.
The heartbeat of the 2023 Virginia International Tattoo will be its incredible international cast of more than 800 performers, with bands from the U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine Corps joined by civilian and military performers from 7 nations. You will see returning favorites such as Norway’s Band and Drill Team of His Majesty the King’s Guard, the Singapore Armed Force Central Band and the Massed Pipes and Drums from four nations. The Tattoo will also include first time performers which are sure to become new favorites including the Latvian Central Band. The soul of the 2023 Virginia International Tattoo will be an emotional and grateful “Tribute to Military Families”.
There will be hundreds of performers from around the world including*:
Australia: Queensland Police Pipe Band
Canada: 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group Pipes and Drums
Latvia: Central Military Band of the Latvian National Armed Forces
New Zealand: The Highland Dance Company of New Zealand
Norway: His Majesty the King’s Guard Band and Drill Team
Singapore: Singapore Armed Forces Central Band
United States of America: Appalachian Piping Academy Pipes and Drums; Camden County Emerald Society Pipes and Drums; Old Dominion University Concert Choir; Tidewater Pipes and Drums; U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Band; U.S. Marine Corps Band, Quantico; U.S. Marine Corps FAST Company; U.S. Navy Fleet Forces Band; Virginia Symphony Orchestra Chorus
Performances will be held at the Scope Arena in Downtown Norfolk, Virginia on Thursday, April 20, Friday, April 21 and Saturday, April 22 at 7:30pm and Sunday, April 23 at 2:30pm.
In addition to the scheduled performances, you can enjoy the Virginia International Tattoo experience at these free and open to the public events in Norfolk April 20 - 23:
Tattoo Hullabaloo: Start your Tattoo experience early with a free festival! Dinner, dessert, drafts, drumming, dance, drill & bagpipes abound! There’s something for everyone!
Norfolk NATO Festival Flag Raising Ceremony: Come celebrate the NATO alliance with military music and ceremony. The NATO Flag Raising Ceremony is presented by NATO — Allied Command Transformation and the Norfolk NATO Festival, in partnership with the Virginia International Tattoo.
DrumLine Battle: A Hullabaloo favorite, DrumLine Battle™ showcases marching percussion ensembles, spotlighting their unique talents and creativity in a high-energy face-to-face competition.
Parade of Nations: The Norfolk NATO Festival is proud to present its annual Parade of Nations, the longest continuously running parade in Hampton Roads and the only parade in the United States honoring NATO! The route begins on Waterside Drive continues to Granby Street. Limited Reserved Seating available on Waterside Dr. & Granby Street, call for details
International Village: Immediately following the Parade of Nations, join in a celebration and appreciation of our NATO Member Nations. Explore international heritage with cultural performances, international art, cuisine and craft beers. Come celebrate with the whole family in a European Street fair atmosphere in Downtown Norfolk.
Virginia International Tattoo American Pipe Band Championship: Watch as hundreds of bagpipers and drummers compete for the honors in this annual competition!
For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.vafest.org/tattoo/ or call 757-282-2822 or 1-877-741-2787.
*Cast is subject to changes or additions.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.