THE organisers of the inaugural Walled City Tattoo are already planning to make the event an annual fixture of the Londonderry arts calendar.
Walled City Tattoo Producer James Kee said: “We knew that Northern Ireland was ready for its own Tattoo and are thrilled that our vision of staging the event became a reality with four breath-taking nights of performance.
“Myself and the team at Sollus Cultural Promotions are already putting our heads together to plan next year’s event and hope to top the 2013 Tattoo with another vibrant and entertaining production full of music, dance and theatre.”
Almost 15,000 people flocked to Ebrington Square over four nights last week to take in the sights and sounds of the first ever Walled City Tattoo.
Undoubtedly one of the highlights of the UK City of Culture year, the Tattoo brought together the cream of local and international talent to delight near capacity audiences.
The success of the Walled City Tattoo lay in bringing together the elements of a traditional tattoo and giving them a unique Londonderry feel.
The show incorporated hundreds of Highland and Irish dancers, bringing together the best of both traditions.
The 500-strong cast included the world famous Top Secret Drum Corps from Switzerland, the African Warriors from Tanzania, pipe and flute bands from Northern Ireland, England and beyond. With original music provided by local band Sontas, for four nights Ebrington Square was awash with colour and music.
Culture Company Chief Executive Shona McCarthy said: “It is always a joy to see people come together and you could feel that real sense of occasion when the audience began arriving at Ebrington for the show.
“The Tattoo promised to be one of the standout occasions of 2013 and it certainly delivered on that front.
“But it was more than just about providing a good night’s entertainment; it was a demonstration to the rest of the world that we can celebrate our joint tradition in a meaningful, but also in a wonderfully positive and joyous way.
“I’d like to pay special tribute to James Kee, who had the vision and commitment to bring the Tattoo to life, and to Jonathan Burgess for his significant contribution to the success of 2013.”
Mayor Cllr Martin Reilly said: “The performances over the last four nights were truly outstanding and something that has never been seen in the city before. Ebrington Square’s parade ground was the perfect setting to showcase such a colourful fusion of cultures and I would like to pay tribute to the organisers of the event for the painstaking attention to detail, and their success in bringing these cultures together in one performance piece.
“Ebrington once again showcased itself as a spectacular, versatile and beautiful setting.
“The Walled Tattoo charted the city’s fascinating history through the centuries, from the siege to the shirt factories, and I am sure each audience was as moved as I was by the combination of drummers, pipers, music, visual light display and the underlying narrative. “Combined, this was simply stunning, and for me this event was one of the real highlights of the cultural programme for 2013.”