Teouma Vao Cultural Village Group, a prominent cultural performance group from Vanuatu performed at the largest ever Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Sydney from 17-19 October 2019.

On October 12, the Royal Australian Air Force flew 26 band members and their support staff to Sydney to take part in the largest ever Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Sydney.

For many in the group, it was the first time they had been on an aeroplane.

The Tattoo took place over four performances at ANZ Stadium from 17-19 October.

13 nations — seven from the South-West Pacific together with Australia, France, Indonesia, New Zealand, Switzerland and the United Kingdom performed at the Tattoo.

Vanuatu was one of the Pacific nations involved in the Tattoo.

The others were Papua New Guinea (85 performers), Samoa (26), the Cook Islands (25), Fiji (50), Tonga (50) and the Solomon Islands (21).

Set against an amazing backdrop of a full-size replica of Edinburgh Castle, the Australian show brought together more than 1,520 military musicians and cultural groups in a thrilling mix of traditional Scottish music – including pipers, fiddlers and highland dancers – while also focusing on the Pacific nations and Australia.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo was created in Scotland in 1950 to showcase military and civilian acts from around the world.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) provided ceremonial and logistical support to the Pacific nations, with three RAAF C130-J and two C17A aircraft flying performers to and from Australia with their precious cargo of performers, cultural items, instruments, regalia and ceremonial uniforms, as part of Operation Tartan Oceania 19.

These aircraft are usually used to transport cargo and troops for military exercises and operational support, for medical evacuations and for humanitarian airdrops of supplies.

The live audience was estimated to be 180,000 (over four shows) The worldwide television audience is estimated to be 100 million.

The Teouma Vao Cultural Village Group originated on the small island of Vao which lies offshore from the larger island of Malekula.

Today the group mostly performs for tourists at a purpose-built cultural village just outside Port Vila.

ABC Australia will broadcast the Tattoo in Vanuatu in early December.

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