(Almost) blown away: Preparations for the 2012 Tattoo continue

Exciting update: An article I wrote about the preparations for the Tattoo has been published on the Reserve Force Division website! Here is the PDF document.

The south-easter wind is still howling through the city centre

The casual phrase “I was blown away” took on quite a different meaning at the Castle of Good Hope on Monday morning. The famous Cape Doctor had been very busy throughout the night in the Mother City, with gale-force southeaster winds howling down from the top of Table Mountain and un-doing much of the work done by the ground crew and audio-visual crew in preparation for the Cape Town Military Tattoo 2012.

When I arrived early on Monday morning, the heavy table cloth was draped over Table Mountain and the wind was doing its best to knock people off their feet with gusts over 40kph. Not surprisingly, there was a fair bit of damage at the Castle too:

The four tents in the rear arena had been dismantled entirely. The black plastic screen that had been erected behind the archway to hide the participants from the view of spectators on the stands had been ripped to pieces. The black plastic mats that had been hammered down in the front arena to cover the paving stones had been flipped upside down. Some portaloos had gone walk-about on their own, and sections of the ‘red carpet’ boardwalk had become misaligned. And one of the lighting towers above the stands had been toppled over, which was not good.

The black rubber mats have been lifted up by the wind

But: The Show Must Go On!

And so it was all shoulders to the wheel for the hard-working crews once more, as they set out to repair the damage as quickly as possible. All the lighting towers, the audio-visual equipment box and the announcer’s box were secured with cables and strong straps: they would not be going anywhere! The boardwalk was weighted down with sandbags, and the ground crew re-secured all the plastic mats with additional pegs. And very soon, the rehearsals could continue.

And may the spectators for the rest of the event only be blown away by the fabulous performances, the breathtaking choreography and the rousing music!

Next up: An exciting march by the participants of the 2012 Tattoo through the city centre!

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