No, the Virginia International Tattoo isn't a tattoo convention. In fact, the word "tattoo" dates back to Dutch innkeepers in the 17th and 18th centuries. When they would hear the fifes and drums of their local regiments telling soldiers to return to their barracks, the innkeepers would cry, ""Doe den tap toe!" Translated, "Turn off the taps!" Why? All of the soldiers would empty the inns, following the musical order to return to their barracks. Over time, "Doe den tap toe!" became "tattoo." Throughout history, military field musicians have played a critical role on the battlefield. For their commanders, music was the sole way to relay orders. Daily duty calls, as well as ceremonial calls, were part and parcel of military routine. Taps, Reveille, the General, the Assembly, and the Retreat are all examples of the military's use of music as communication.
Virginia International Tattoo PerformanceToday, the military puts on an indescribable performance of military bands, performers, and drill teams. All across the country, they have delighted and inspired audiences everywhere. As Peter Pantuso, President/ CEO, American Bus Association, said:
Words cannot explain the Virginia International Tattoo other than to say it's the most amazing and inspiring gathering of military bands, drill teams, and performers from the U.S. service branches and from militaries around the world. It gave me goosebumps and brought tears to my eyes. I see why it was chosen to be the best of American Bus Association's Top 100 Events in North America!"