Getting ready for the Cape Town Military Tattoo 2014

It is almost time for one of the highlights of the Cape Town events calendar: the Cape Town Military Tattoo 2014!

Scheduled to run from Thursday 6 November to Saturday 8 November 2014, it will again be hosted at the venerable old Castle of Good Hope in central Cape Town. (You can read about the 2013 Tattoo here).

WO1 Boehme of 3 Electronic Workshop climbing up one of the lighting towers

WO1 Boehme of 3 Electrical Workshop climbing up one of the lighting towers

This year, the organisers have put together a fabulous new website for the Tattoo; check it out here: There is a brilliant line-up of bands and performers, with some newcomers making their first appearance. I am definitely looking forward to this. Also, this year they’re really promoting the use of social media, so there is much activity on their new Facebook page. Remember to ‘Like’ it to keep updated with the latest developments.

Each evening, the massive steel-studded Van der Stel gate to the Castle will open at 17h30. And as in previous years, there will be a pre-show from about 19h00, with the show itself beginning at 20h00 and concluding at 22h00. Secure parking for visitors is available on the Grand Parade opposite the main gates to the Castle.

In addition, on Saturday afternoon, there will be a special matinee performance, which I think starts at 16h30 (I will confirm this shortly); this is ideal for families with younger children, who need to be in bed before 22h00.

You can buy your tickets at Computicket; they will also have a stand outside the main entrance every evening, for those who want to wait until the last minute. Depending on the location of the seats, the cost ranges from R80 to R120 for adults; tickets for children from 3 to 11 years old cost R60. The tickets for the matinee performance cost R60 for adults and R50 for children from 3 to 11 years old; matinee seats are unreserved.

The lights are lifted up to the top of the Kat

The lights are lifted up to the top of the Kat

These prices are incredibly reasonable, given the impressively high standard of the performances.

I was down at the Castle today, eager to get some behind-the-scenes pictures of the preparations. As in previous years, 3 Electronic Workshop from Wonderboom Military Base, under the watchful eyes of WO1 Shawn Boehme, were busy setting up the tracks for the lights above the Kat wall, assembling the lighting box on the balcony overlooking the arena, and erecting the two lighting towers on either side of the main entrance.

At the back of the Castle, the rations for the next week – all the participants will need to be fed, after all – were being delivered to the kitchens.

And the Defence Reserve office, which is responsible for coordinating everything, making sure that all the paperwork is completed, that all the t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted, and that all the items on dauntingly long to-do lists are completed in time, was positively buzzing with activity.

Spending some time there today reminded me once again how many pieces of the jigsaw puzzle have to come together in order to make this event happen – and, even more importantly, to ensure that it is a success. May this year’s Tattoo be an exciting and uplifting experience that the audience will remember with happy nostalgia for years to come.

Remember that you can click on any of the pictures below to access the slideshow.

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