Virginia International Tattoo Festival 2018


The Virginia International Tattoo Festival in Downtown Norfolk is one you don’t want to miss and no, it has nothing to do with inked body art.

This Tattoo Festival is a display of traditional and inspirational military music including pipes and drums, drill team maneuvers, dancers and more. This year’s Virginia International Tattoo Festival will be in town from Thursday, April 26 to Sunday, April 29 at the Scope Arena. It will feature the theme “Above and Beyond the Call of Duty,” highlighting recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Military bands and groups from all over the world perform at this annual festival. You’ll see members of the Band and Drill Team of His Majesty the King’s Guard from Norway, the Republic of Korea Traditional Army Band, the Royal Band of the Belgian Air Force and, new for this year, Italy’s 11th Bersaglieri Regiment Fanfare Band.

Of course there will be performances by United States’ favorites as well, such as the U.S. Navy Fleet Forces Band, the U.S. Marine Corps Band of Quantico and even local performers like the Granby High School Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps and Hampton Roads Police Color Guards.

Perhaps one of the most exciting, new features at this year’s Tattoo Festival will be something never seen before outside of Arlington National Cemetery. The Sentinels of Arlington National Cemetery will be performing the Changing of the Guard Ceremony, which is done at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, according to festival officials at their press conference.

The four-day festival includes several events leading up the actual tattoo performances inside the Scope each night. Every day there will be a three-hour “Hullabaloo” on the Scope Plaza featuring food vendors, special craft beer from Rip Rap Brewing Co. and Young Veterans Brewing Co., a DrumLine Battle and more performances. There’s also the NATO Festival, which includes a flag raising ceremony, the 65th Parade of Nations and the International Village.

You can find ticket and parking information on their website. 

Here’s the full list of scheduled events for the festival: 

Thursday, April 26

4:30 – 4:55 p.m. | His Majesty and the King’s Guard Drill Team, Norway on the Plaza and Drum Corps United at the Tent
5 – 6 p.m. | NATO Flag Raising 
6:10 p.m. – 7 p.m. | DrumLine Battle on the Plaza
6: 10 – 6:20 p.m. | The Highland Dance Company of New Zealand at the Tent
6:25 – 7 p.m. | Canadian Forces Base Trenton 8 Wing Pipes and Drums at the Tent
7:30 –  9:30 p.m. | Tattoo Performance inside the Arena

Friday, April 27 

4:30 – 4:45 p.m. | Granby High School on the Plaza and Currituck County High School at the Tent
4:50 – 5:10 p.m. | Churchland High School on the Plaza and The Highland Dance Company of New Zealand at the Tent
5:15 – 5:30 p.m. | His Majesty and the King’s Guard Drill Team, Norway on the Plaza and U.S. Army TRADOC Arsenal Bass at the Tent
5:35 – 5:50 p.m. | 11th Bersaglieri Regiment Fanfare Band on the Plaza and Canadian Forces Combined 12 Wing and 14 Wing Pipes and Drums at the Tent
6 – 6:25 p.m. | DrumLine Battle on the Plaza and the Royal Band of the Belgian Air Force at the Tent
6:30 – 7:20 p.m. | Music Makers at the Tent
7:30 –  9:30 p.m. | Tattoo Performance inside the Arena

Saturday, April 28 

10 a.m. | 65th Annual Parade of Nations along Waterside Drive (Parade Route)
11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. | International Village at Town Point Park
12 – 12:30 p.m. | VIT American Pipe Band Championship Opening Ceremony with the Granby High School NJROTC on the Plaza
12:30 – 1 p.m. | VIT American Pipe Band Championship on the Plaza
1:15 – 1:30 p.m. | Performer not announced 
2:45 – 3 p.m. | The Highland Dance Company of New Zealand on the Plaza
3:30 – 3:45 p.m. | Performer not announced
4 – 5 p.m. | VIT American Pipe Band Championship on the Plaza
5 – 5:55 p.m. | DrumLine Battle on the Plaza
5:35 – 5:55 p.m. | The Highland Dance Company of New Zealand at the Tent
6 – 6:30 p.m. | VIT American Pipe Band Championship Awards on the Plaza and U.S. Navy Fleet Forces Band at the Tent
6:30 – 6:45 p.m. | Republic of Korea Army Taekwondo Team on the Plaza and the Boardman High School Jazz Ensemble 1 at the Tent
6:45 – 7 p.m. | 11th Bersaglieri Regiment Fanfare Band on the Plaza and the USMC Quantico Dixieland Band at the Tent
7 – 7:15 p.m. | Bethel High School on the Plaza
7:30 –  9:30 p.m. | Tattoo Performance inside the Arena

Sunday, April 29 

11:30 a.m. | Highland Heavy Athletics at the Virginia Arts Festival Greenspace on the corner of Charlotte and Bank Street
11:30 – 11:45 a.m. | Red Impact on the Plaza and Pipes & Drums of the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada at the Tent
11:50 a.m. – 12:10 p.m. | His Majesty and the King’s Guard Drill Team, Norway on the Plaza and Sporid at the Tent
12:15 – 12:30 p.m. | Republic of Korea Traditional Army Band on the Plaza and New Ross & District at the Tent
12:35 – 12:55 p.m. | Red Impact on the Plaza and The Highland Dance Company of New Zealand at the Tent
1 – 2 p.m. | DrumLine Battle on the Plaza
1:15 – 1:45 p.m. | Rhythm of Ireland at the Tent
1:45 – 2 p.m. | Hurrah Players at the Tent
2:30 – 4:30 p.m. | Tattoo Performance inside the Arena