News & Events

2020 New Zealand Military Tattoo spectacular to feature over 600 performers

Wednesday November 20 2019

Musical mastery, pomp and ceremony, military heritage and a celebration of New Zealand’s culture all feature in the New Zealand Military Tattoo spectacular happening on 4 April 2020 at Palmerston North’s Central Energy Trust Arena.

A Tattoo is a large-scale event that spellbinds audiences with entertainment on a scale rarely seen.

As New Zealand’s Defence hub, Palmerston North is hosting the one-night show to celebrate and honour our Defence forces, their people, their heritage and the contribution they make to our communities.

“Given the strong international reputation earned by our nation’s military bands, pipes and drums, the Tattoo showcases this talent while honouring our heroes and our heritage,” says Sacha Haskell, Palmerston North City Council General Manager of Marketing and Communications.

The New Zealand Military Tattoo spectacular will feature around 600 performers from throughout the country as they create a memorable night of entertainment.

The New Zealand Army Band’s Director of Music Major Graham Hickman is the show director, with assistance from Murray Mansfeild, who is leading the pipe bands for the spectacular.

Headlining the show is the New Zealand Army Band, who are internationally acclaimed for their polished performance, musicality and entertainment factor. Earlier this year they were awarded the Pooley Sword at the final show of the 2019 Edinburgh Military Tattoo as the performers who made the greatest contribution to the event. It was the sixth time the band has performed at the Edinburgh Tattoo and the 2020 show in Palmerston North will be the same performance that was enjoyed by over 220,000 people in Edinburgh and Sydney this year.

“Having the crowd favourite from the Edinburgh Tattoo headlining our show sets the scene for the quality of performance we can expect,” says Haskell. “Known not only for their talent but also our unique cultural heritage. Their playful performance intertwines humour with well-known Kiwi tunes recognised by all ages, as well as their intricate drills.”

Prior to the show Rangitāne iwi will welcome people to the show and there will be an acknowledgement of the Māori Battalion.

Other musical entertainment will come from all three NZ Defence Force bands, six top pipe bands, five brass bands, highland dancers and iwi. An Honour Guard, police dog demonstration and battle sequence with an Air Force flyover also feature in the show.

“There is quite an emotive narration to the show and we’re thrilled that Judy Bailey has confirmed her role as show narrator. There are some moving moments which we expect may draw a few tears.

“The 2020 Tattoo is a show for all ages and will provide great entertainment particularly for families. The scale and quality of the show will make it a night to remember for years. It’s also an opportunity for people to honour and applaud the service of our New Zealand Defence Force personnel serving now and in the past.”

Other performers confirmed for the April event are:

  • Defence Bands (3): NZ Army Band, Royal New Zealand Navy Band, Royal New Zealand Air Force Band
  • Pipe Bands (6): Auckland Police Pipe Band, Manawatū Scottish Pipe Band, New Zealand Police Pipe Band, Massed Police Pipes and Drums (including Police Dog Demonstration), Celtic Pipe Band Inc, RNZPBA Youth Pipe Band
  • Brass Bands (5): Feilding Brass Band, Levin and Districts Brass Inc, The Devon Hotel New Plymouth Brass, Brass Whanganui, Palmerston North City Brass
  • Highland Dancing: Gael Force Highland Dance Company
  • Māori Battalion Honour: Rangitāne and regional iwi
  • Honour Guard
  • Battle Sequence/Air Force flyover

Tickets for the event are now on sale through Ticket Direct and start from $15 children and $29 adult (excl booking fees).