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12 Sep, 2007 21:01

Moscow hosts biggest ever military tattoo

Final preparations are taking place in Red Square for an International Military Tattoo called ‘Kremlin Zorya’, scheduled to take place on September 13-16. It's the biggest event of its kind ever staged in Moscow.

Thirty-six thousand visitors a day are expected over the four-day event.

Military bands will perform not only in Red Square, but on stages in different parts of the capital.  

The tattoo has its official opening on Thursday evening, but troops have already taken over Red Square.  It's being billed as the city's biggest ever musical spectacle, inspired by Edinburgh's Military Tattoo.  

Russians will lead the parade, with the President’s Regiment, the Kremlin Guards, and the Central Ministry of Defence Orchestra.

Other participants have come from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Germany.  

Dutch Royal Guards promise to wow crowds with weapons tricks, while Italian flag carriers can't fail to turn heads with their medieval costumes.

Bagpipers from all over the globe will be donning Scottish kilts to play famous tunes, including Russian ones.   

Almost half of the bands taking part are homegrown, and their job is to showcase the Russian military here and abroad.

Organisers say the festival is a public initiative, denying claims the Kremlin had a hand in setting it up.

“Neither the Kremlin nor the President were involved.  It was our initiative. It’s very important for us to show the world what Russia is now. Russia is a country of old traditions, but, at the same time, it’s not a military country but a state with a famous history and deep cultural traditions,” said Vitaly Mironov, Director of Kremlin Zorya says.

Andrey Nasonovsky, producer of the “Kremlin Zorya” International Military Tattoo, told Russia Today that  the organisers “want to implement certain innovations in this event involving sound, light, projection and LED systems. That's why, for instance, we invited the very famous sound designer John De Nero from London, who is very experienced. He has designed and created sound systems for Pink Floyd and Andrew Lloyd Webber shows. He came with his team and created a special sound design system especially for this venue. It's very good. ”

“Now we have more than 800 light systems around the square, bright and powerful, more than 100 sound design systems and other special effects. Nobody has done anything like this before,” he added.

The military festival promises to be a spectacular show.  And the hosts hope it will become a fixture on the calendar for years to come.